LOCAL Houston | The City Guide October 2017 - Page 54

By day five, the team moved on to animal rescue in Beaumont. The next call regarded a white Pit Bull stranded slightly, but fortunately, above water on a front porch. This, and every Pit we encountered was, once over the “introduction phase,” tail-wagging, face-licking and happy to see anyone who could get them elsewhere. Once the white Pit was secured, ART responded to another request to rescue five dogs in carriers on a second-story neighbor’s balcony after the original owners home flooded to the roof. One was a gray Pit with an amputated right front leg; the other dogs each their own mix. With their food supply running low, each was led or carried downstairs to the waiting animal control vehicle. Three days involved similar rescues totaling approximately 10 cats and about eight dogs being brought to safety from varied locations. In most cases, the animals will be reunited with their owner. An HSUS doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) arrived on day three to examine rescued animals for health concerns and administer rabies vaccinations. A large specialized HSUS rig trucked in on day four and took animals eligible for adoption and already in shelter further north to a new shelter that would welcome the animals there. These combined efforts took the strain off local shelters which would otherwise be beyond capacity. By day four, HSUS ART began assessing whether to relocate. Water had subsided in the Galveston region. They knew new areas were now flooded in East Texas. Supplies were inventoried and organized, a secondary boat and 54 L O C A L | 10 . 2017 engine acquired and maintenanced. More crates were assembled. More animals evaluated. On day five, we drove to Beaumont. The closer we came to a new aquatic ground zero, the more our driving required detours. Our drop point was a powerless Shell Station which also found itself host to National Guard troops. We used I-10 as a boat launch, the roads as our river, the ditches as canals. The last day I’d spend with HSUS ART was deemed too dangerous for me to come along. The boat going out needed to stay light, the team going out was reduced also. The reason for concern was that the boat would be going into faster waters over greater depth. Stationed on a dry patch with two HSUS ART members. I witnessed them take in two chickens spotted floating on a piece of wood. Crated now, the chickens were later fed and penned with another chicken. The first and last boat of the day returned. The reported locations had already been tended to and no pets were found. This may sound like a letdown, but it means the Beaumont Fire Department, National Guard or perhaps locals, had already rescued those animals. What matters for those who care, and certainly to the HSUS and ART, is that ultimately animals, pets or otherwise, are cared for, treated ethically and rehabilitated when required.