Horrible Harvey: Animals suffered in the hurricane, too


courtesy of Brin Boyle

A 90-pound endangered alligator snapping turtle was found in the middle of a road during the hurricane. The ancient turtle was returned to the Buffalo Bayou. The turtle is estimated to be 70-100 years old.

by Greyston Harding, Reporter

Hurricane Harvey was a devastating Category 3 hurricane that tore through Houston, Texas. The hurricane lasted from August 25th to September 3rd. In some places, 50 inches of rain accumulated. Domesticated and wild animals alike suffered. Lancer Media contacted Houston’s local ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to discuss the effects of Harvey, and how our local community can help. We spoke with Brin Boyle, the Youth and Humane Education Program Manager for the Houston SPCA.

LM: What was the wildlife in Texas like before hurricane Harvey hit?

Boyle: Before Harvey struck, the wildlife in Texas was, “very active.” The deadly storm hit during Texas’ extended summer, so that means most of the animals were not in hibernation and they had not migrated to anywhere safe. The animals were blindsided when the storm arrived, and, unfortunately, many animals died.

LM: What types of animals were affected the most because of Harvey?

Boyle: Due to the storm being a, “widespread disaster,” it is hard to determine which animal was affected the most. However many newly-born squirrels were blown out of their nests during the storm, and, ultimately, the majority did not survive. Boyle also mentioned that many wildlife habitats have been completely destroyed from rising waters. Even a number of pet-owners had to give up their animals to shelters due to the severity of the storm.

LM: How are the people of Texas helping animals affected by the storm?

Boyle: The people of Texas have been overwhelmingly positive about the entire situation. Citizens have been extremely generous by donating their money, supplies, and time. People have even been coming from thousands of miles away to help out as well.

LM: How can the people of Maryland help the animals in Texas?

Boyle: The easiest way to contribute to this cause is to donate. Donating is a very simple way to reach out and say that you care. Another way to help out is to foster and or adopt an animal! Fostering an animal really helps out when a shelter is full and cannot take in any more animals. It also isn’t a permanent home for the animal so there is a lesser amount of commitment.

According to Boyle, “If you are considering an animal for your home, why not choose one that can be rescued and given a good life?”

Students in the Linganore community can help out by donating money, or even by volunteering at local animal shelters. Even if Houston is too far away to directly help animals in need, animals in Maryland could still use some attention. The Frederick County Animal Control is always looking for volunteers, and is always full of animals who are in need of a loving home.