Twenty years ago, Paula Fasseas and her family were on vacation in Crete when a stray terrier began following them on the beach. They ended up falling in love with the pup and brought him back home to Chicago, where he inspired the entire family to get more involved in animal welfare— in a major way.
Today, PAWS Chicago is one of the most important no-kill shelters in the nation and has rescued and adopted out tens of thousands of animals to loving homes.
The Chicago-based charity is also a first responder when catastrophe hits and has sent crews of volunteers to U.S. emergency zones, like New Orleans after Katrina and Oklahoma, after deadly tornadoes left thousands of animals homeless.
Today, a team of dedicated volunteers from Chicago is in Houston— led by Paula Fasseas herself, working with local authorities and shelters to rescue canine and feline victims of Harvey’s wrath. Several vans loaded with volunteers and supplies made the 17-hour drive to Houston from Chicago.
PAWS Chicago will take in several dogs and cats who already were in shelters before the storm, to help make room for an overwhelming number of homeless pets that have been coming in after Harvey flooded the Houston area.
The pets will be brought back to the PAWS Medical Center, where they will receive any necessary vaccinations and medical care, be spayed or neutered, and provided with microchip IDs before they’re cleared for adoption to Chicago-area families.
Fasseas told local news channels in Chicago that the dogs and cats that PAWS Chicago is bringing back to Chicago were already in shelters in the Houston area and by evacuating them and finding homes for them in the Chicago area, they were making room for the hundreds of pets that have been made homeless by the storm’s devastation.
PAWS Chicago has undertaken a massive fundraising drive for the operation, which Paula Fasseas said is expected to last up to six months, in order to make a long term impact on the region and support efforts to ensure that all healthy animals can be provided for. Donate to PAWS Chicago’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts here.
Some of the animals being brought back to Chicago for adoption:
— PAWSchicago (@PAWSChicago) September 2, 2017