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An Update on Hurricane Harvey from our COO, Deb Turcott

Thursday, August 31, 2017

 

To our partners, donors and friends,

Thank you for the outpouring of support you are providing to the relief efforts in Texas and Louisiana. Here at Petsmart Charities, we’ve received many phone calls, emails, and inquiries on social media about how people can help and what we’re doing to assist during this time of devastation.

From our operations center at PetSmart Charities, we would like to take the opportunity to share the work that we are engaged in and the different ways that you can join us in helping.

How PetSmart Charities has helped thus far:

  • Commitment of $1 million in initial grant funding for the immediate response, rescue and relief efforts already underway. Some of these funds have already been issued to organizations in the Dallas, Houston, Dickenson, San Antonio, and Austin areas. To learn more about the specific organizations we have funded thus far, click here. More funds will be deployed on a daily basis as needs are evaluated and grant requests are received.
  • Truck-loads of supplies are being shipped in to staging areas near the convention centers in Dallas, Austin and as soon as roads are passable, Houston. These trucks include a variety of much needed items like crates, bowls, leashes and collars, disposable litter pans, and kitty litter.
  • An estimated total of more than 100,000 pounds of dog and cat food is in the process of being distributed to partners assisting in the sheltering of humans and their pets.

And this is just the beginning

PetSmart Charities has assembled a 10-person team that is triaging inquiries, reviewing grant requests, coordinating with partner organizations to avoid duplication of effort, and monitoring current and emerging needs as the situation unfolds.  We recognize that this response will last for some time and this response team is focused on doing what we do best; supplying the greatly needed funding and supplies for organizations who are serving in the affected areas.

We couldn’t do what we do…without you

The funds, supplies, and food that we can give as an immediate response are entirely made possible by the donors who give so generously at PIN pads in PetSmart stores, online, or by mailing in gifts to PetSmart Charities. We are also immensely grateful for our strong relationships with the animal welfare and social service communities and our partnership and collaboration over the years. Your trust in us is appreciated and we want all of our partners, donors and supporters to know that we are deploying resources in an effective and strategic way to meet needs in real time.

How can you help?

This is the question we have received most frequently from our friends, donors, and other animal welfare organizations, and we are so glad you asked! Here are some ways you can help:

  • Donate to the continued relief efforts.  Click here to donate through PetSmart Charities for Emergency Relief. 
  • Encourage organizations in need to apply for needed funds or supplies by clicking here.
  • Adopt! You can adopt a pet from your local shelter or animal welfare organization today which will help make space for more animals needing shelter due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey.
  • Please try your best not to “self-deploy” one-off emergency relief efforts or shipments of supplies.  We know it’s hard to watch the news and not want to jump into action!  We feel it, too!  However, when facing an emergency relief effort of this size, there are tried and true systems in place to make requests for help and highly-coordinated response groups that work quickly and effectively during these times. If too many people show up, then there are more mouths to feed, more beds needed to sleep in, and more vehicles and generators consuming greatly needed fuel.

Again, we are grateful for your interest in helping during this time. Emergency relief efforts like these take all of us, working together towards a common goal, to make a difference. 

On behalf of the team at PetSmart Charities,

Deborah K. Turcott

Chief Operating Officer

 

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