The impact of devastating Hurricane Harvey can still be felt in Southeast Texas. For months, the news was chock full of stories of thousands upon thousands of displaced Texans. Lives were lost. Homes were destroyed. Families were separated. Among those lives completely turned up side down were those of the countless animals who found themselves displaced, separated from anything and anyone familiar, and facing an uncertain future.

Such was the case for a stray dog brought into the Missouri City Animal Shelter during Hurricane Harvey. Missouri City lies just outside of Houston and was hit particularly hard by the flooding. The shelter’s volunteer manager named the stray “Wichita” after having just returned home from watching the 2017 total solar eclipse in Wichita, Kansas. The Missouri City Animal Shelter, along with most shelters in the Houston area, were overwhelmed and needed help to address the growing number of displaced animals in the Houston area as a result of the hurricane and flooding.

Austin, Texas area shelters came together to accept hundreds of dogs and cats from Houston-area shelters (including Missouri City). Wichita was one of those dogs.

Wichita met his forever family at an Austin shelter and after a rough few weeks in transition from shelter to shelter, began to adjust to life in his new home with owners Jeff and Heather Herrick. However, the excitement was short-lived when Wichita’s owners realized his excessive sleeping and loss of appetite was not due to the stress of his ordeal, but rather it became clear the little brown dog was actually sick.

After a visit to their family veterinarian at Allendale Veterinary Clinic, Wichita was diagnosed with pneumonia. Jeff and Heather were overwhelmed by the looming cost of care Wichita would need in the coming weeks to treat the infection. In less than a week, the cost of his care was estimated to exceed $1,000.

Allendale Veterinary Clinic recommended that Jeff and Heather apply to the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) for emergency help from the Foundation’s disaster relief fund. The application process was quick and easy. Within days, TVMF approved and provided the funds needed to cover the cost of Wichita’s treatment and medicines. There was no delay in treatment for Wichita, and he began receiving the care he needed immediately.

Today, Wichita is happy, healthy and enjoying life in his new forever home and training to become a therapy dog. Thanks to the generosity of supporters from all over the country, animals such as Wichita, have been able to receive the care they need until reunited with their Houston families or adopted into new ones. To learn more about TVMF’s disaster relief initiative or to apply for a grant, click here.