Hurricane Hanna’s damage displaced hundreds of local residents, including furry ones.

The Category 1 storm that swept through the region in July left both of the Palm Valley Animal Society’s Edinburg locations without power that night. Their center on Trenton received the worst damage.

“Parts of our ceiling actually started falling in during the storm,” PVAS Development Coordinator Julian Whitacre said. “Some of our storage sheds were destroyed by the wind and blown away, and our property was flooded.”

No animals were harmed, but dozens of dogs had to be transferred to foster homes or temporary shelters. Now, PVAS has to raise funds for a new roof and several other repairs for both centers.

So, throughout the month of August, PVAS has been hosting a Wag-A-Thon, aiming to raise $30,000 for repair projects. Those wishing to participate should visit https://www.pvastx.org/wagathon to make a fundraising page, and pledge to run, walk or ride a certain distance to raise funds.

The idea for a marathon fundraiser stemmed from the hopes of keeping the event cautious of social distancing measures.

“We wanted to involve the community and get people excited and moving again in a safe way with COVID-19,” Whitacre said. “And if they wanted to involve their pets too, that would be great.”

However, the shelter has not reached the half-way mark of its goal yet. So far, they have collected $7,000 through the Wag-A-Thon.

Whitacre hopes to encourage the community to take part in the fundraiser to support PVAS continuing to carry out its mission: caring for stray animals.

The center’s save rate recorded an all-time high during the first quarter of the year. From January to March, PVAS had a retention rate of 89.4%, meaning that euthenasia practices reduced by 73% from the first quarter of 2019.

On average, the center takes in about 23,000 stray cats and dogs every year. In 2019, Whitacre said PVAS took in about 30,000 animals.

“We understand that it is a tough time for the community with COVID, and after Hurricane Hanna as well, but it is also a tough time for the shelter too,” Whitacre said. “We work to make sure these animals are cared for and have a home or someone to look after them, that is what we do. We are here to help the animals of the RGV, and make sure they are brought to be taken care of and protected.”