Musk. shelter welcomes Gulf Coast pets in wake of Harvey

An undated courtesy photo of shelter dogs. (The Noah Project)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A Muskegon animal shelter is teaming up with another organization to bring animals from Louisiana and Texas to West Michigan in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

One dog in a load of 35 from Texas shelters looks out while being unloaded after being flown to make space for companion animals rescued in the Hurricane Harvey aftermath, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, at Boeing Field in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The Noah Project says it’s working with Pilots N Paws and Flying Fur to take animals currently in shelters along the Gulf Coast to free up space for pets currently being rescued from the floods.

“I said, ‘What if we can get a plane? What if we could clear out their shelters to make room for the thousands that are coming in that are flood victims?'” Noah Project board member Jane McGregor said.

She came up with the idea Tuesday after always wanting to be involved in rescuing animals during disasters.

On Thursday, the shelter got approval from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to fly the dogs into the state. The animals will be checked by a veterinarian before the flight to make sure they test negative for heartworm, checked again by a vet after landing and then quarantined in the shelter for at least a day.

>>Inside Complete coverage of Harvey | How you can help

The organization is accepting donations of supplies — like dog beds, blankets and food — and money for the animals it transports. It’s also looking for people to foster dogs and come to the shelter to help care for them during the day. The executive director of The Noah Project, Tamara Owen, told 24 Hour News 8 the group needs upwards of 12 people a day to take care of the animals.

“This is going to be very expensive. Some of these dogs are going to need a lot of medical care and we want to make sure everyone that comes up gets everything that they need and deserve,” Owen said.

Those interested in volunteering, donating or adopting a pet can contact the Noah Project at 231.865.1264 or through its Facebook page.