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Humane Society of Harlingen empties amid COVID-19 concerns

Empty kennels and cages are seen at the Humane Society of Harlingen as the organization found adoptive homes for all its animals in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Photos: Courtesy Harlingen Humane Society

Special to LFN

HARLINGEN – The Humane Society of Harlingen was not immune to the increasing uncertainty amid COVID-19. On the morning of Thursday, March 19, the shelter opened with 87 adoptable pets, and began a push to clear the kennels by reaching out to the community through social media as well as other means,

On the morning of March 22. the shelter staff awoke to an unpleasant surprise. Overnight, someone had dumped a litter of five puppies outside the shelter. But the lifesaving momentum was still strong and by 6:30 that evening, only two animals were left in our care: one of the abandoned puppies, and a lab mix who had been surrendered a few days before.

“We decided to do a Hail Mary Facebook Live,” said Sarah Cano, communications coordinator at the Humane Society. “Within five minutes, people were calling the shelter. They were just as invested as we were to empty the shelter. By 7:30 on Sunday night, the shelter was clear. Staff members opened all of the kennel doors and cat dens and left them that way for morning staff to see. This was a sight no one at our shelter had seen before.

“We could not exist without continued support from the community,” Cano continued. “To our fosters, adopters, rescuers, volunteers, donors, and city leaders, we thank you. We look forward to showing the world that Harlingen is a safe place for pets.”

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