National Guard Maj. Gen. James Witham said in a Tuesday press briefing that 300 pets have been rescued thus far from the ravages of Hurricane Harvey.
Witham noted that the National Guard has rescued roughly 300 pets affected by the hurricane, but there’s no doubt in Witham’s mind that recovery is a “long-term effort,” due to the fact that Houston has been deluged with 11 trillion gallons of rain.
For many residents fleeing the area, saving their pets is an absolute priority.
“We’re looking at a dire situation, not just for people but for pets,” Lisa Norwood, who works with the San Antonio Animal Care Services, told CBS News.
Aside from the pets, the National Guard has rescued more than 3,500 people by boat.
The area has suffered so greatly that Witham is considering calling up an additional 20,000 to 30,000 more troops to assist.
Currently, the National Guard has requested 24 helicopters in addition to the 30 helicopters already deployed. The number requested could jump to as much 100. These helicopters currently in play have performed 300 hoist rescues.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called up the entire Texas National Guard on Monday in recognition of the seriousness of the weather crisis, which totals around 12,000 Guardsmen.
“It is imperative that we do everything possible to protect the lives and safety of people across the state of Texas as we continue to face the aftermath of this storm,” Abbott said.
Numerous other state Guard units are preparing to send help to Texas, particularly Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, New York and Oregon. Other states are expected to join the effort in the coming days.
The Houston Chronicle reported that the death toll of Hurricane Harvey has climbed to 15.
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