ST. TAMMANY PARISH -- For 35 dogs, today is the beginning of a better life.
After hearing the howling of Hurricane Harvey's winds from their shelter in Montgomery County, Texas, dogs were loaded up and driven across state lines by the St. Tammany Humane Society in Covington.
The goal was to make room in Harvey-affected area shelters for lost pets plucked from flood waters, in order to keep them nearby, in hopes reuniting them with their owners.
But the move was also to give the animals care, love and a fresh chance at a forever home.
"It was the right thing to do," said St. Tammany Humane Society CEO Scott Bernier. "I know Texas helped us a lot during Katrina, so it was the right thing to do."
Dozens of volunteers were on hand to make the transition for the animals a quick and calm one. That includes Angel Hayes and her family, who chose to spend the last day together, before her son joins the Marines, helping with the intake process.
"This is one of those times when people are in need and we love all the fur babies and we just want to help out," she said.
And area families were more than willing to pitch in on the foster home front.
"I think they're going to be a lot more happy and they won't be as much scared because they can run around in sunny weather now," said young Elizabeth Lubrano, who fostered a small dog named Nelson.
In Folsom, The Inner Pup of New Orleans is readying for a work day Saturday to get a large property ready to become a safe haven for even more than the 78 dogs they've already rescued and re-homed post-Harvey. The organization, in partnership with Take Paws Rescue in New Orleans, pulled the animals out of shelters in south Louisiana that were facing euthanasia ahead of the storm due to evacuation orders there.
"Our goal here is to be a refuge, a playground, a cozy home, to help these dogs on their way to getting a second chance," said Inner Pup founder Genie Goldring.
Even though a majority of the physical rescuing is wrapping up, a lot of help is going to be needed in the coming days and weeks. That includes donations of food and pet supplies for foster families, as well as monetary donations for vet care and taking on more rescues.
It's all to create more happy endings like Nelson found with Elizabeth.
The St. Tammany Humane Society has two ways to help. You can donate pet food and supplies (list here: https://www.sthumane.org/donate-item) to the organization's disaster warehouse located at 78263 Hwy 25 North Covington. It's open Monday - Friday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Or you can make a monetary contribution to help the foster families taking on the "Harvey Hounds" here: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E101751&id=61
The Inner Pup of New Orleans is in need of labor volunteers for Saturday's work day. Details can be found here: http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/?u=542c15c24ad028bbf1419f8fc&id=9b7151b4f7.
The organization is also in need of monetary donations to help treat the animals rescued and care for them until they're adopted. You can donate here: http://www.theinnerpup.org/?utm_source=Nita+Media+List&utm_campaign=b87ff344b3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_09_04&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_176e09f9af-b87ff344b3-244825289