HURRICANE HARVEY: Amid the chaos in America, Levi ran off but has since been found and cared for.
HURRICANE HARVEY: Amid the chaos in America, Levi ran off but has since been found and cared for.

Red Collar Rescue reaches out to sister group in Texas

"RESCUE is rescue, it doesn't matter where it is.”

Bundaberg's team at Red Collar Rescue have reached out to their sister group in Houston, Texas after being hit by Hurricane Harvey.

Local Red Collar Rescue founder Sharyn Banks said after experiencing the devastation of the Bundaberg floods, her heart broke for the Texas shelter.

"It's bizarre, I never knew there was another Red Collar Rescue company when I started this one,” she said.

"Our email addresses are almost identical so we have gotten each others emails, applications and sometimes donations.

"They are very close to our heart, especially in times like these.”

Ms Bank said in the wake of a flood or other natural disaster shelters and the amount of animals in need of help is "a nightmare”.

"A lot of care centres don't allow people to bring dogs with them,” she said.

"They will basically have to start again, like many places shelters store all of their stuff on-site so all the bedding will be destroyed.”

It was the thought of that they are going through and what Bundaberg went through which prompted Ms Banks to reach out to their sister across the sea.

"It was just an email, but nobody wants to feel like they are alone when they are going through something like that,” she said.

"They seems to appreciate it, which is great and I'm going to stay in touch with them and see if we can do anything for them like a fundraiser.

"The world is getting smaller, years ago we would have heard about the hurricane two weeks after it hit, but now it seems like it's happening down the street, so why not try and help?

Ms Banks said she encourages anyone with friends or family in the United States to try and help small organisations like Red Collar where they can.

Below is an insight to what's happening in Houston through an email from the American Red Collar Rescue team:

Hi Sharyn,

Thanks so much for thinking of us here in Houston, TX. It really is devastating...floods like never before! Fortunately, all of our RCR furry kids are ok, and our RCR volunteers' homes faired ok.

The rescue work and reality of the situation is just beginning. The animal shelters are going to be filled to capacity in no time. Rescue groups like us will be helping to take in as many animals as we can.

The impassible roads have literally shut down the city and hampered rescue efforts. Today was the first time in 5 days I could actually drive out of my neighborhood. I spent it looking for Levi, one of many lost dogs.

Levi is a dog we adopted to a couple 7 years ago. He got lost when his family had to evacuate their home. They walked 3 miles in waste deep water carrying 50 lb Levi. They finally reached safety at a friends home on higher ground. Levi was so distraught, he found an open door and bolted, being lost in unfamiliar territory and pouring rain. Levi is a very shy dog and would not let anyone approach. As soon as he was spotted, he would take off. Today he finally could run no more, he was exhausted and his paws were torn and bleeding. Levi allowed a man with another dog to approach him. His parents were able to get to Levi and rushed him to the ER. He has new booties, antibiotics and pain meds, and will be fine. (See attached pic.) We are so happy this story had a happy ending!

We have a long road ahead of us. Thoughts and prayers from our Australian friends are greatly appreciated!

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