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The devastation of Hurricane Harvey has been immense in the state of Texas, with at least 70 people reported to have died. Many have lost loved ones, while many more have lost their homes or been displaced with no certainty as to what, if anything, they will return to.
Unsurprisingly, the threat posed by the hurricane has also put Texas' furry residents at risk, with animal owners fretting over the safety of their pets. Thankfully, a number of groups and people from all over the United States have stepped up to the plate, offering aid and refuge to the stranded animals.
Just this week, Southwest Airlines - an airline based in Dallas, Texas, and the world's largest low-cost carrier - has offered to save stranded pets, flying a plane full of them from the city of Houston, the state's biggest city.
The airline tweeted a series of images of crew members with the stranded animals, while video footage from ABC shows a Texas animal shelter full of crates and cages, prepared to take dogs and cats to a new home in San Diego, California:
According to California's Helen Woodward Animal Center, which assisted in organising the move of the animals to a facility in Rancho Santa Fe, the move of animals on Southwestern opened up space so that people displaced by the hurricane could bring their pets while waiting for the storm to pass.
Various volunteers and animal groups took part in moving and organising the transfer of lovable pups and cats, while rescue organisation Operation Pets Alive! announced that it had taken in many "orphan dogs and cats who had inhabited those shelters before the storm and were suddenly facing euthanasia simply because they had no place to go."
And it wasn't just groups in The Golden State that got on board (sometimes literally) to help stranded Texas animals. A shelter in Waukegan, Illinois received 180 cats and dogs from the Wings of Rescue charity, providing hope that the number of animals saved will exceed expectations.
Needless to say, this was one furry rescue flight, with plenty of love to go around! pic.twitter.com/mtBuDBGDw1- Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) September 6, 2017
At least 19 trillion gallons of rainwater has fallen on Texas since Hurricane Harvey began, reports Mashable, dropping more rain on the state than any other tropical storm in America's history, and about a year's worth in total in just over five days.
It may yet prove to be the most devastating hurricane the country has ever seen and as of yet the total cost in terms of dollars hasn't been calculated, but will likely run into billions of dollars.
Words: Ronan O'Shea
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