CARE helps hurricane animals find sunshine |

CARE helps hurricane animals find sunshine

Sallee Ann Ruibal

“I hope you find some sunshine in your clouds today.”

Angela Kay received that text message from her dad one morning while she was grieving the loss of Buddy, her 14-year-old dog. Kay, advertising director for the Post Independent, checked the Colorado Animal Rescue website later that day. Under “adoptable pets” was a smiley hound with flowers around her neck.

Her name? Sunshine.

Sunshine, who now goes by “Phoebe,” was one of the dogs CARE took in from shelters affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Category 4 hurricane hit the Texas Gulf Coast in late August, causing extensive damage and flooding in the Houston area.

A friend of CARE’s worked with Austin Pets Alive in the Harvey aftermath and brought seven of the animals — three dogs and four cats — back to the shelter.

“The first round of animals we received were already in a shelter, and they needed to make room for the animals displaced by the hurricanes,” said Wes Boyd, executive director of CARE.

All of the original dogs have been adopted. Black lab Smokey and boxer mix Harry arrived later, in early October, and are waiting on their forever homes.

The four cats are still available, as well. Oscar, Oreo and Emmett are all related. Stanley, a slender white cat who is deaf, verbally greets visitors in the cat room.

Boyd said all of the animals have adapted well to the change in environment. CARE is expecting more animals as they are on standby with Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to take in an additional seven animals.

“Although we stick to our namesake for trying to help animals in Colorado, when national disasters strike we feel it’s our job that everyone who’s able should jump in and help with the relief efforts,” Boyd said.

Kay, her fiance Kyle Mills and Phoebe are all glad CARE stepped in to help. Mills said Phoebe’s puppy energy helps the house feel less empty in Buddy’s absence.

The three enjoy going on hikes, watching Sunday football together and tossing around Star Wars plush toys. Phoebe’s middle name is “Beru,” after the woman who raised Luke Skywalker in the famous movie series. The trio are a complete family now.

During a recent thunderstorm in Silt, Phoebe slept easy through the night.

“I just think she’s amazing because she weathered this terrible storm, and then came here and helped us get through our own storm of losing Buddy,” Kay said.

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