Humane Society of Harlingen loses power, adoptions increase

"Harlow" was one of the Humane Society of Harlingen's "storm chasers" that went to a foster home during the weekend to ride out Hurricane Hanna since the facility experienced power outages. Courtesy Photo 

HARLINGEN — Cats and dogs were left without light since Sunday due to Hurricane Hanna, but luckily, homes were found for the majority of the Humane Society of Harlingen residents.

Sarah Cano, Community Outreach Coordinator, said the shelter prepared since Thursday to have as many pets adopted or sent to foster homes as possible.

Those that were sent to foster homes were called “storm chasers” because they were meant to only spend time there due to the storm.

Power was restored Monday afternoon, but Cano said the community was extremely supportive. Twenty five dogs and cats were sent to adoptive homes, and 10 were sent to rescue groups.

“ That is pretty great,” Cano said.

On Thursday and Friday of last week, the shelter was open at 1 p.m. for curbside adoptions, which it continues to hold.

On Monday, adoption fees were waived in order to get as many dogs and cats out of the facility since the lights were out.

Cano said animals are likely to get nervous and scared when storms and hurricanes occur, which is why the shelter tried to get them to a safe home as soon as possible.

“ We do a lot of adoption counseling, and we know which dog is more nervous than the other or which one is more easy going,” Cano said.

When it comes to disaster planning, Cano said the shelter feels prepared to handle it, with COVID-19 happening.

She stressed the community has been a great help in keeping the shelter afloat and being able to continue increasing adoption numbers.

“ We are really blessed to have such an incredible group of people behind us ready to foster and adopt. Ready to help in any way they can,” Cano said.

Because of COVID-19, the shelter has not been able to host in person fundraisers.

Next week, the shelter will be partnering with NBC for “Clear the Shelters 2020” and will raise funds through an online link from August 1 to 8.

The link to donate is https://give.greatergood.org/give/274668/#!/donation/checkout?designation=141752 .

The link allows donation matches to be done, Cano said, which ensure better services for the animals. The Humane Society of Harlingen could raise up to $20,000, according to Cano.

Because rain and thunder scare dogs and cats easily, many pets ran away and ended up at the shelter.

Cano recommends for owners to have their pets microchipped to avoid that.

“ We are servicing more and more animals because of the storm. Things that are very loud can stress them out and we see an increase,” she said.

“ One of the greatest things you can do is get your pets microchipped. We offer it every day, but right now we have a special for ten dollars curbside at noon,” Cano said.

ecavazos@valleystar.com