HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Adopt-a-Pet.com, North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website, announced today the launch of Foster a Hurricane Pet (www.fosterahurricanepet.org), the only peer-to-peer online platform to help displaced people find local citizens who can provide temporary foster homes for pets until they can be welcomed back home. Working closely with Houston SPCA, the city’s first and largest animal shelter, Adopt-a-Pet.com has launched this free online service to find safe havens for the many thousands of pets whose displaced owners are temporarily not able to care for them in this devastating crisis.
Using Foster a Hurricane Pet, pet owners in need of temporary care for their animals can quickly and easily use a computer or smart phone to post their pet, while animal lovers in Texas and Louisiana are encouraged to help by choosing a pet to foster until the pet can return home. “This specially designed tool will connect neighbors to neighbors, ultimately giving displaced pet owners peace of mind knowing that their animals are safe while they get back on their feet,” said Patricia Mercer, president of Houston SPCA. “We expect thousands of animals to come to the Houston SPCA as a result of this catastrophic disaster, and we will see an urgent need for short-term and long-term foster homes in our communities.”
Natural disasters, like Hurricane Harvey, pose a serious threat for people and pets alike in the impacted areas. Many families are forced to flee without their beloved pets, certain evacuation centers do not allow pets, and for some people it may be weeks or months before they are able to secure stable, pet-friendly housing. A system for temporary care for pets during crisis situations and reuniting them with their families afterward is essential. “Having been on the ground facilitating animal rescue efforts following Hurricane Katrina, I know first-hand how a platform like Foster a Hurricane Pet could have changed the outcome for so many animal companions and the families just needing to get back on their feet,” said Dr. Pia Salk, psychologist with expertise on the human-animal bond and spokesperson for Adopt-a-Pet.com. “Foster a Hurricane Pet focuses on keeping pets close to their families and out of already overcrowded animal shelters – both of which are crucial to combating feelings of helplessness and making a reunion possible,” she went on to say. “Recovering from such a stressful event requires minimizing further losses and maximizing access to support and unconditional love. Animal companions are natural healers in such situations. Having them safe and nearby is a win for the whole community.”
“The Petco Foundation is dedicated to lifesaving every day and for animals in crisis situations like Hurricane Harvey. We are proud to, once again, fund the development of innovative technology that will directly impact the lives of pets in need,” said Susanne Kogut, Executive Director of the Petco Foundation. “Through partnerships like the one we have with Adopt-a-Pet.com, for finding pet foster homes, and with Finding Rover, for reuniting displaced pets with their owners, innovative and desperately needed technology can be brought to life at record speed – enabling more animals to be saved,” she said.
Only people local to the areas affected by the storm are being asked to open their homes to foster a pet. Pet lovers in the rest of the country who want to help are encouraged to visit Adopt-a-Pet.com or Petfinder.com and adopt a pet from their local shelter to make room for homeless pets being moved out of the hurricane-effected areas. Those who can’t adopt but still want to lend support can make a tax-deductible donation that will entirely be used to cover the costs of foster care for Hurricane Harvey-impacted pets.
To learn more about Foster a Hurricane Pet, visit www.fosterahurricanepet.org.
Adopt-a-Pet.com is North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website, helping over 17,000 animal shelters, humane societies, SPCAs, pet rescue groups, and pet adoption agencies advertise their purebred and mixed breed pets for free to millions of adopters each month. Sponsored by the pet lovers at Purina, the Petco Foundation, Petco, and Bayer Animal Health LLC, Adopt-a-Pet.com helps homeless dogs, cats, and even rabbits and other animals go from alone to adopted.
About Houston SPCA
The mission of the Houston SPCA is to promote commitment to and respect for all animals and to free them from suffering, abuse and exploitation. For more than 92 years, the Houston SPCA has been an open door, a safe haven and defender for all animals. For more information, call (713) 869-SPCA (7722) or visit,www.HoustonSPCA.org. Please connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
About the Petco Foundation
The Petco Foundation believes that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, they’ve invested more than $200 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With thousands of animal welfare partners across the county, they inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through the Think Adoption First program, they partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, they’ve helped more than 5.3 million pets find their new loving families, and they’re just getting started. Visit petcofoundation.org to learn more about how you can get involved.