As Texas residents continue to reel in the aftermath of record-breaking cold, extended power outages, and water shortages and boil notices, Houston SPCA is working harder than ever to rescue and protect the area's animals.
Before the storm hit, animal cruelty investigators went into neighborhoods to remind pet owners of the devastating consequences if they left their animals outside without adequate heat or shelter.
Scores of animals have since been checked on and rescued by Houston SPCA, along with partners HPD and Harris County Precinct 1 Constables.
Once the temperatures start to rise and the rooftop icicles start to drop, though, that's when the real work begins for the Houston SPCA. The community has been impacted in such a way that there will be an even a greater need for emergency services in the coming days, including the 24-hour rescue ambulance.
The Houston SPCA will be in need of large blankets, towels, bottled water, and lots of pet food, which will be shared with community partners such as BakerRipley's Senior Program, AniMeals on Wheels, and Northwest Assistance Ministries.
Touchless donation drop-off is available under the big blue Houston SPCA tent in the parking lot, or you can donate money online.
Houston SPCA’s Wildlife Center of Texas is also open from 10 am-3 pm to accept injured, ill, or abandoned wildlife such as squirrels, opossums, and birds. You can see exactly where to drop off on this map.
If it is not safe to get the distressed animal to the center, you can still help until it is safe to travel. Carefully place the animal in a box with soft rags and a warm (not hot) water bottle, a rice sock, or a heating pad set on low. Give them a warm and quiet environment, away from regular household noise and pets.
Never attempt to feed or give water to any distressed wildlife, as they may have water in their lungs or other serious injuries.
Make a shelter for small mammals, like opossums, by cutting a hole in a cardboard box or plastic drink cooler and filling it with straw or soft blankets. Pour warm water into birdbaths to melt frozen water, and put out extra birdseed or suet in your yard.
For more information about helping distress wildlife, check out the Houston SPCA's how-to guide here.