After the Storms: The Grey Muzzle Organization Helps Homeless Senior Dogs

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The first call for help came from Animal Rescue of New Orleans (ARNO), asking if The Grey Muzzle Organization could provide emergency aid to help Curly, “a gentle old soul” who had barely survived Hurricane Harvey, and several senior Chihuahuas also rescued from devastated Texas neighborhoods by ARNO volunteers.

Nine-year-old Curly is recovering at Animal Rescue New Orleans.

Then, a few days later, Hurricane Irma hit Florida. As media showed people and animals suffering, Grey Muzzle’s leadership reached out to our network of grantees—animal shelters and rescue groups all around the country—to ask how we could help.

“We know that some of you have been asked—and have agreed—to help dogs escaping the aftermath of these storms. We recognize that the costs associated with this much-needed assistance were likely not in your current budgets,” Grey Muzzle’s Executive Director Lisa Lunghofer wrote in an email to grantees asking for updates on their rescue efforts.

This outreach prompted replies from animal welfare groups working to help animals displaced by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Five Grey Muzzle grantees have taken in canine survivors of the storms and are giving them the love and veterinary care they desperately need.

Many of these dogs, like Harold, are in tough shape. Harold was evacuated from the Jacksonville, FL city shelter to make room for incoming animals displaced by the storm. The senior Mastiff-mix is heartworm positive, underweight and has an eye infection. Just hours before Irma made landfall, employees from the Kentucky Humane Society arrived and took 48 homeless pets, including Harold, back to their shelter in Louisville.

Harold was rescued from a Jacksonville, FL, shelter by the Kentucky Humane Society.

To support their work helping animal survivors of the recent hurricanes, the following groups have received emergency assistance grants from The Grey Muzzle Organization:

Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Des Moines has taken in 37 dogs evacuated from South Carolina due to Hurricane Irma, including five seniors.

Animal Rescue New Orleans has rescued 32 dogs from Texas and plan to rescue 25 more. Several are senior dogs and many are heartworm positive.  

Austin Humane Society has taken in and cared for more than 600 animals affected by Hurricane Harvey, including several senior dogs in need of veterinary care.  

Kentucky Humane Society in Louisville has taken in more than 200 dogs and cats from hurricane affected areas in partnership with other national humane organizations. KHS is caring for nine senior dogs who survived Irma.

Lionel’s Legacy in San Diego, CA, collaborated with four other rescue groups to transport more than 160 animals displaced by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. They’ve also partnered with 12 rescue groups to take these animals into their programs, and are currently caring for four senior dogs who survived the storms.   

“We’d like to recognize and thank the staff and volunteers of each of these groups for going above and beyond the call of duty to help animals from areas impacted by the hurricanes,” Lunghofer said. “We’d also like to thank you—our supporters—for your kindness and generosity. Your contributions to Grey Muzzle made it possible to provide these emergency assistance grants to help save the lives of senior dogs.”