Alley Cat Allies Brings Emergency Support and Resources to Animals in Greater Houston Area

Tropical Storm Imelda took Houston, Texas, area residents by surprise when it dumped more than 40 inches of rainwater in mid September, deluging streets and homes and leaving countless cats and other animals stranded.

Alley Cat Allies sprang into action to help. We traveled to the Houston area to share our expertise with local organizations helping cats, issued emergency funding for veterinary care, and hand-delivered critical supplies cats need to survive.

“Alley Cat Allies is working with Houston area groups to care for the cats and kittens who urgently need us,” says Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “We’re saving lives and making sure animals are not overlooked victims of this tragedy.”

First, we headed to SweetPups Rescue and Sanctuary in the hard-hit city of Vidor. Though the organization is primarily dedicated to dogs, SweetPups founder Glenna Tucker also opened her doors to cats and kittens in the aftermath of the storm. Alley Cat Allies arrived to bring lifesaving support and resources to more than 200 animals.

“It’s all helping tremendously, but what truly helped was knowing that [Alley Cat Allies] cared enough to do it,” Tucker says.  

Alley Cat Allies also drove to Houston to bring critical support to Friends For Life Animal Shelter, a nonprofit organization we have worked with before to save cats’ lives. We provided funding that is ensuring cats receive, and will continue to receive, the veterinary care they need.

“We’ve been able to order a brand new shipment of medication to treat cats with ringworm. We’re doing vaccinations, deworming, flea meds, microchip, and spay and neuter on everyone,” says Salise Shuttlesworth, executive director and founder of Friends For Life. “[Alley Cat Allies] is covering those costs for us and making it easier for us to help the cats.”

Two four-week old orange kittens, Betty and Burt, were among the first to receive treatment funded by Alley Cat Allies. Separated from their mother in the storm, they were rescued from drowning in a flooded flower bed and came into SweetPups malnourished and dehydrated. They were transferred to Friends For Life to get the care they needed, and now they’re bright-eyed and on the mend with plenty of food in their bellies.

Another two kittens, Claire and Chadd, came in snuffling, shivering, and lethargic with severe upper respiratory issues. Today, with our help, they are on antibiotics, regaining their appetites, and putting on healthy weight.

Though the life-threatening storm is over, we still have a lot of work left to do for many more cats and kittens like these. We will continue our critical support for the animals and community members whose lives were uprooted by this disaster.

“The greater picture is what this support is doing to keep us going, to push us forward,” says Tucker. “Because we can’t do it by ourselves. And just to know there’s a like-minded organization and people who will come to help when we need it most…that alone is worth a million dollars.”