VCA Animal Hospitals announced that select locations are offering free boarding assistance for companion animals whose families have lost homes, or have been evacuated, due to storms in the southeast and wildfires in Texas.
The VCA Becker Animal Hospital in Homewood, Ala.,is offering free boarding for those affected by tornadoes in the state. For more information on the hospital as well as free boarding, click here. VCA Catoosa Animal Hospital in Ringgold, GA., is offering free boarding as well. For more information on the hospital as well as free boarding, click here.
"VCA has a long-standing tradition of working in its local communities to help provide the best for pet parents and their pets," said Art Antin, chief operating officer of VCA Animal Hospitals. "For residents affected by the recent devastating events, VCA is working to assist them by providing free pet boarding so they can focus on the safety and welfare of their families and homes."
For those affected by the ongoing wildfires in Texas, 20 VCA Animal hospitals located in the Dallas – Fort Worth area are offering free boarding. There is also a website with hospital locations in Texas offering free boarding.
• VCA Angel Animal Hospital
• VCA Animal Care Hospital
• VCA Bedford Meadows Animal Hospital
• VCA Beltline East Animal Hospital
• VCA Buckingham Animal Hospital
• VCA Central Expressway Animal Hospital
• VCA DeSoto Animal Hospital
• VCA Fort Worth Animal Medical Center
• VCA Fossil Creek Animal Hospital
• VCA Lakewood Animal Hospital
• VCA Lindley Animal Hospital
• VCA Loop 12 Animal Hospital
• VCA Love Field Animal Hospital
• VCA Mercedes Place Animal Hospital
• VCA Metroplex Animal Hospital & Pet Lodge
• VCA Pet Doctor Animal Hospital
• VCA Preston Park Animal Hospital
• VCA Saginaw Animal Hospital
• VCA Sandy Lake Animal Hospital
• VCA University Animal Hospital
Boarding assistance for pets is based on space availability. Owners can call their local VCA in advance to ensure space is available. Contact information for the participating VCA Animal Hospitals can be obtained by clicking here.
It's difficult to get even a good ballpark number on the amount of pets and animals displaced by these recent disasters, according to Debrah Schnackenberg, senior vice president of emergency services programs for American Humane Association.
"Trying to get good numbers on displaced animals is almost impossible," she said. That's because, unlike for humans, there is no centralized shelter database. "Realistically, what you have is a little rural shelter in one of the tornado-affected states that has normally 25 animals and it now has over 150 displaced animals. "They're overflowing."
At the Tuscaloosa shelter, for example, they are transferring a number of homeless pets to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society to help manager the overflow, Schnakenberg states. "They're doing a lot of transporting to and from shelters," she said, adding that the number of animals in transit make it even more difficult to accurately estimate the impact on pets and animals. "We have tornadoes, and we have flooding. There's a little bit of a compound disaster going on out there."