By Brandon Stone / Skagit Valley Herald
STANWOOD — In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, The NOAH Center is doing what it can to help.
The Stanwood animal shelter is accepting animals from shelters in the Houston area so those shelters can make space for pets lost or displaced during the hurricane, said NOAH Operations Director Lani Kurtz.
Nine cats arrived from Houston-area shelters Tuesday, and were expected be adopted by the end of the weekend. The average stay at NOAH is about a week, meaning there’s a lot of turnover.
“We’ve gotten a lot of interest,” Kurtz said, saying the center has gotten calls and Facebook messages from those interested specifically in the cats from Texas.
The cats were medically cleared and put up for adoption Saturday morning.
With so many families displaced and homes destroyed in the Houston area, Kurtz said it’s important to keep space available in Houston area shelters.
Those shelters can hold pets while families try to find them, or while the families are in temporary housing trying to put their lives back together.
“We know by taking animals already in the shelters that we give the (lost) animals a chance to find their families,” Kurtz said. “Our whole point is to keep animals in happy, loving families.”
She said the center is expecting 15 dogs from the Houston area to arrive near the end of the week and more cats in the coming weeks.
And with Hurricane Irma hitting Florida, Kurtz is expecting more transfers to be heading the center’s way.
She said the center usually gets two days notice, so the staff needs to be flexible.
Considering the stress of relocation, Kurtz said she was surprised how friendly and affectionate the cats have been.
“This group has been surprisingly well adjusted,” she said.
All of NOAH’s animals are taken from shelters throughout the country, and many were at risk of being euthanized if the center couldn’t accept them.
“We’re used to having to be creative,” Kurtz said. “We’re fluent in flow.”
Anyone interested in adopting pets can find more information at thenoahcenter.org, or by calling 360-629-7055.