Conditions in Houston are catastrophic, as Hurricane Harvey decimates the area. Flooding has displaced thousands of people, many of whom are struggling to find shelter. People should, of course, take priority under these circumstances, but that doesn't mean there aren't folks who are remembering the non-human creatures who need help in the storm.
Hundreds of pets have been abandoned or lost as the flood rolled in. Many dogs in particular are kept outdoors in shelters, and photos of distressed animals in need have been circulating on social media. Most of them are pretty heartbreaking.
But here is at least one picture to reassure you that there are people who care about animals, and they're out there doing the work to help them:
The Dog Rescuers of Houston collecting abandoned and shelter animals are one bright spot in this terrible time, their smiling faces giving folks a little glimmer of hope. These particular dudes are just one group of many trying to do the work of helping their furry friends.
Newsweek reports that efforts to organize more pet rescues are in full force,with teams collecting animals and even airlifting groups of cats and dogs to other shelters in unaffected states with room for them. And there are lots of pics of people grabbing their animals and trying to get them to dry land:
But the unofficial Dog Rescuers are getting lots of love:
Warms my heart ❤️Those who help animals are special, loving people.— Donna M (@guerillagirly1) August 29, 2017
That's one time that no one would mind the smell of a wet dog. Well done guys!! Puppy kisses all around!! 🐕🐕💋💋— Diana Lantz (@lantzland) August 29, 2017
Thank you to all the dog, cat bird, horse and other animal rescuers in TX. You are blessed.— Bob Foss (@Ancientbob) August 29, 2017
All creatures great and small need shelter from the storm.
The death toll for Hurricane Harvey currently stands at seventy, while Hurricane Irma is predicted to cause massive devastation in Florida. Irma has already slammed the Caribbean, reducing some areas to rubble.
Hurricane Harvey moved into Texas as a Category 4 hurricane over the weekend, and has since been downgraded to a tropical storm. Despite being downgraded, Harvey is still the strongest storm to hit the United States since Charley in August 2004 and the most powerful to hit Texas since Hurricane Carla in 1961.
The National Weather Service predicted that as much as 50 inches of rain has fallen in some areas, and at least five deaths have been reported. Perhaps the hardest hit area has been Houston, the most populous city in the state, with millions being affected by flash flooding.
Joel Osteen, head of the Lakewood mega-church in Houston, Texas, also became the focus of the Internet's anger over the past several days. When Hurricane Harvey hit the coast, flooding huge swaths of land and leaving thousands without shelter, Osteen refused to open the doors of his 17,000-seat building.
Osteen then began claiming the church was inaccessible due to flooding, despite pictures people quickly shared on Twitter showing the premises almost completely unharmed. In response to the intense public outcry, Osteen finally bowed to pressure and opened Lakewood to those in need.