Charlotte woman helps displaced Houston pets

Photo courtesy of Abby Rehkugler?
Over 800 dogs and cats were housed in an emergency shelter in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.

Self-proclaimed “animal fanatic” Abby Rehkugler of Charlotte vacations each year in Kanab, Utah. When she’s there, she spends time with her family but also spends time with some other loved ones – the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. When Hurricane Harvey barreled through Houston this month, Rehkugler got in touch with Best Friends right away, knowing that they would be heading down to Texas to help.
In a huge warehouse that was part of the NRG Stadium complex, which is home to the Houston Texans football team, Rehkugler spent eight 12-hour days helping to feed, walk, clean up after, and of course, find some time to love the 400 dogs and 400 cats that were displaced after Harvey uprooted families and destroyed homes in the Houston area.
The warehouse was noisy, and many dogs were frightened or anxious, so Rehkugler and her fellow volunteers did their best to comfort the animals and do what they could to help find their owners.
“A lot of them are clearly family pets,” she said. Best Friends’ primary goal is to reunite pets with their owners; they post photos of every animal in their care on their web site with other identifying details. They are legally obligated to keep the animals for 30 days before putting them out for adoption. After those thirty days, Rehkugler said, they will start the process of shipping the dogs out to local shelters around the country.

Other hurricane relief efforts
• CVU Fundraiser Students raised money based on points scored by CVU sports teams over the weekend. People pledged to give based on the number of points the school’s teams scored; athletes racked up 54 points and fundraising topped $1,000 by Tuesday evening.
There’s still time to donate online at:

• Benefit concert Oct. 6 The Old Lantern Inn & Barn will host a live benefit concert next Friday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. called “Road to Recovery–One Love,” featuring the Josh Panda Band, to support relief efforts on the U.S. territories of St. Thomas and St. John islands.
Tickets are $30 and all proceeds will be donated to the St. John Fire and Rescue and the St. Thomas Reformed Church. Both organizations are on the front lines of distributing food, water, and medical supplies to those hard-hit by the recent hurricanes. All money raised will go directly to the islands.

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