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Sep 1, 2017 3:58 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

ARF Comes To The Rescue For Texas Cats And Dogs

Staff members of the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons at a former furniture store in Austin, Texas, looking to bring animals from local shelters back to their Wainscott headquarters. COURTESY DIANE MANCHER
Sep 5, 2017 3:33 PM

Representatives of the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons drove south this weekend to save dozens of cats and dogs whose lives were indirectly endangered by Hurricane Harvey.

Speaking from western Arkansas on Monday morning after a long weekend of travel, ARF Executive Director Scott Howe sounded in good spirits in the midst of the return trip to the Wainscott animal adoption center and shelter, which had sent two transport vehicles down to Texas late Thursday night, August 31.

Custom fitted with travel crates for the animals, the vehicles were carrying more than 50 cats and dogs that been removed from Austin Pets Alive, a no-kill shelter, to make room for other cats and dogs that had been rescued from areas devastated by flooding.

“The purpose of this was to bring animals back to make more room for more rescues,” Mr. Howe said. “Austin Pets Alive started to pull in animals from municipal shelters because the animals in those shelters would’ve been euthanized to make room for the animals brought in from the hurricane … There were animals being pulled from Katy and Beaumont, which is mostly underwater now,” he said.

“This whole experience has been incredibly rewarding,” Mr. Howe continued. “We have some really amazing staff at ARF on this, and it’s been amazing seeing citizens of Austin come together.

"There have been dozens of volunteers coordinating and organizing supplies to be delivered," he continued. "I hope that if something like the hurricane happened in our community, they would respond as well as people in Houston and Austin.”

The animals displaced from Austin Pets Alive had been temporarily moved to a former furniture store in Austin to receive any shots and medical treatment they might need. Mr. Howe said more than 1,000 animals had come in and out of the store.

After receiving donations of cash, pet food and other supplies to help care for the animals and setting out for Texas last week, Mr. Howe and the rest of the ARF team pulled into the makeshift animal shelter at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Cats and dogs were vaccinated and any records for the animals were processed by ARF. After four hours of such work, Mr. Howe said, he and the rest of his crew left the store to stay at a nearby hotel in Austin with the animals kept safely in the transports, which used generator power to keep the inside air-conditioned for the animals. Mr. Howe and his companions left Austin Sunday morning with plans to stop at three animal shelters in New Jersey as well as the Southampton Animal Shelter and the Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton to drop some of the cats and dogs off for adoption.

Mr. Howe said that ARF will have 29 animals from Texas at its Wainscott location for community members to adopt.

According to Kate McEntee, adoptions director at the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, the foundation’s shelter will have six new dogs in from Austin: Blue, a pit bull; Bonnie, a husky mix; Candy, a husky mix; Leo, a husky mix; Tasha, a spaniel; and Brownie, a chihuahua. The shelter is pushing for extra people to come in and adopt animals, or at least foster them, so it can make more room for animals from Texas.

“With this rescue trip coming in, we are going to have a lot of dogs and cats at our shelter,” Ms. McEntee said. “We are holding extra volunteer classes so people can help us with walks and care of these dogs.”

Wings of Rescue, a donation-based charity that flies animals from at-capacity shelters to no-kill shelters throughout the United States and Canada, is also delivering dogs and cats from shelters in Texas to the Southampton Animal Shelter. It was not immediately clear how many animals the shelter would be receiving.

The Wings of Rescue rescue is part of a larger effort by the Petco Foundation. As of this week, the Petco Foundation had committed $2.3 million to animal organizations for hurricane help and was helping to place animals in overflowing facilities at other no-kill shelters across the country, according to its website,

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Great job!!
By MelissaA (30), Sag Harbor on Sep 1, 17 4:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Great job but dont get in the way of saving people
By GoldenBoy (327), EastEnd on Sep 2, 17 10:05 AM
Thank you so much ARF! Austin Pets Alive has made Austin the largest no-kill city in the U.S. They have been overwhelmed this week with animals and surely appreciate the help. They have received so many donations, that they have put a halt to it temporarily just to sort through it. Check out APA Facebook page - they were just grabbing as many animals as they could find, but are simply out of facility space. As a Bonac transplant to Austin, we all say thank you!
By Chubtone (7), Austin on Sep 3, 17 12:10 PM
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