Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Johanna Strickland photo Coast Guardsmen assisted residents and pets after massive flooding by Hurricane Harvey in Houston on Aug. 27.

Hurricane Harvey help | Orcas Animal Shelter to bring back dogs from Texas

Hurricane Harvey ravaged everything in its path, and residents of southeast Texas are facing a long recovery process, including searching for lost pets.

Animal rescue organizations across the country are taking dogs and cats from Texas shelters in order to make room for pets displaced in the hurricane. The Orcas Animal Protection Society is doing its part as well, and has arranged to take in dogs from Tall Tails Rescue and Transport, based out of Texas. The nonprofit has been doing rescue work in Houston, Port Arthur and several other disaster areas, and volunteers are bringing 70-75 dogs this week to the Pacific Northwest.

“A lot of the work we would have to do is already done so we’re happy to support their continuing efforts in Texas,” said Shelter Director Marsha Waunch. “Their plan is to make a trip to Washington every two weeks. We knew there would need to be a long-term resolution to this disaster, and I’m pleased we’re in a position to help. We will probably take in a few cats/kittens at the end of the month on their next trip.”

Waunch and her husband Bob will meet Tall Tails off-island on Sept. 10 to bring back at least 10 dogs. The animals have been spayed or neutered, tested for heart worm and have a health certificate for transportation. The dogs will be processed on Orcas that afternoon, and the shelter is hoping to send as many as possible into foster care. For those interested in fostering a dog, email Waunch at

Seattle Humane has offered to take 200 cats and 100 dogs from Texas, and the first round of animals arrived Aug. 31 in Boeing Field. Waunch says Orcas APS will coordinate dog transfers with that organization as well at a future date.

APS is asking for donations through the Orcas Island Community Foundation to help with the cost of transportation and veterinary care for the dogs coming in now and in the near future. To donate, go to