WEST GOSHEN >> It’s raining cats and dogs at the West Chester Campus of the Brandywine Valley SPCA.
Or, maybe, it just seems like it is.
The heavy rains and flooding associated with Harvey displaced hundreds of family pets.
A full vanload of cats and dogs arrived from Texas and Louisiana Saturday evening at the shelter on Phoenixville Pike.
Twelve dogs and 26 cats made the flight to, and subsequent drive from, Manassas, Virginia. Twelve dogs were also transported to the Georgetown, Delaware shelter.
The animals were shelter residents prior to the hurricane. Pets from Texas and Louisiana were shipped out of state to help make space for local pets which will remain in the community. With help from the internet, animal lovers will be able to locate the right local shelter and recover their pets.
Three of the West Goshen Harvey dogs were already adopted and found forever homes on Sunday.
Linda Torelli, BVSPCA marketing director, said that we learned from Katrina to not ship pets directly impacted by a disaster long distances. It is much easier for pet owners to find their displaced four-legged friends when they are both in the same general area.
John Busin, volunteer with Animal Lifeline, drove the pets from Virginia to West Goshen.
For the first 10 minutes of the road trip the animals meowed and barked, Busin said. They then settled down, with most sleeping, except when the van stopped for gas.
Busin typically transports one or two animals at a time.
“This is the most fulfilling trip I’ve done,” Busin said. “In my heart it’s a warm, fuzzy feeling.
“Volunteers either love to do it or they don’t — so the ones who do it love it.”
Lindsay Parsons is a volunteer with the BVSPCA.
“When natural disasters happen we all want to help in some way, and for me this is the way,” Parsons said. “Who knows what would have happened to them.”
SPCA Volunteer Andrea Wiltz also helped out.
“It’s an amazing experience to bring some help to animals,” she said. “It’s good to volunteer.”
The relocation was a team effort. The Humane Society of The United States, Wings of Rescue and Animal Lifeline all participated.
There are more dogs on the way. The shelter is accepting another 27 dogs Tuesday.
For more information go to www.bvspca.org or call 610-692-6113. You can also reach the BVSPCA by writing to 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester PA 19380.