LAKE BLUFF – In the advent of destruction from Hurricane Harvey, pet rescue groups from the Chicago area have been heading to Houston, Texas, and even a doggie daycare owner is lending a hand, or in this case a van.
“Like everyone else, my heart has been heavy watching the devastation in Houston, and when I saw a picture of two guys who had rounded up 21 “left behind” dogs on their boat, I wished I was there with my Yuppy Puppy van that holds 17 dog crates to help move them,” said Betsy Puterbaugh, owner of Yuppy Puppy in Lake Bluff.
Puterbaugh quickly leaped into action by calling local rescue groups to see if anyone wanted to take the Yuppy Puppy van to bring back dogs. She learned that Players for Pits in Warrenville had a trip scheduled to leave September 1, and the animal shelter was in need of a van.
Puterbaugh explained that Players for Pits provided a list of needed supplies, so she put the SOS out on the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Marketplace group on August 30 asking people to drop off anything they had on that list to Yuppy Puppy’s lobby.
“The response was overwhelming,” said Puterbaugh. “So many people in the community were anxious to help and in 24 hours filled our lobby with items from the list, plus lots of dog food and treats.” Other items include: towels, collars, leashes, medical gloves, zip ties, ace bandages, hydrogen peroxide, bowls and some leftover dog meds.
Puterbaugh said she is not going, because the rescue operation in Houston has asked that only trained rescue groups come help. “They don’t want people who are aren’t experienced with scared dogs,” she said.
Houston anticipates 70,000 displaced dogs, and each transported dog will be checked for a microchip. There is also a registry where local dog owners can search for their dogs. More information can be found on the Houston SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) website.
Puterbaugh explained that rescue coordinators with Players for Pits will be heading to the large industrial warehouse that is housing dogs and coordinating rescue efforts to drop off the supplies. She doesn’t know how many dogs will be coming back, but Players for Pits has generously offered to search for stray dogs in Houston.
“The best thing people can do is volunteer to foster a dog,” said Puterbaugh. “PAWS Chicago and the Anti-Cruelty Society will likely be bringing back the most dogs over the next few months given the size of their operations.”
Puterbaugh is modest of her role in the rescue effort.
“All I did was offer my van and round up supplies from everyone in our local community,” she said. “The real heroes are the trained rescue groups going down to do the work.”
For more information on Yuppy Puppy visit: http://ayuppypuppy.com/
At least one organization got a head start on the Yuppy Puppy/Players for Pits caravan to Houston.
PAWS Chicago, the city’s largest No Kill humane organization, sent out the first rescue caravan on August 31 to transport dozens of pets, many of whom are sick and in need of treatment, back to the PAWS Chicago Medical Center. The medical center is located at 3516 W. 26th Street, Chicago.
The following information appeared in a press release:
The pets rescued by PAWS Chicago will alleviate some of the overcrowding at these shelters. PAWS Chicago’s efforts will focus on pets who have been given up by their owners or had already been in local shelters before Harvey hit, making room for the homeless animals that continue to come in and for pets of families who have lost everything and can no longer keep their animals.
This will also be part of an ongoing effort, as PAWS Chicago’s need for resources will increase as additional foster homes and supplies will be required to care for these animals. PAWS Chicago welcomes donations, and asks for people in Chicago to open their homes to foster pets and to volunteer at PAWS Chicago’s Medical Center and Adoption Centers.