Animal shelter setup after Hurricane Harvey announces closure

Animal shelter setup after Hurricane Harvey announces closure

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Just two months ago an East Texas woman created an animal rescue shelter for pets left behind after Hurricane Harvey. Over the course of the time, the facility worked to reconnect lost animals to the owners or find new homes. But on Tuesday, the shelter announced it is closing saying they no longer can afford the operational costs.

"It's just sad to see what they've (animals) been through and how many didn't make it. That's sad," said BJ Rankin, a volunteer. 

On a positive note, Rankin said he's grateful to offer his time at the shelter to nurture as many animals as he could.

"You know its been one of my dreams to be part of something like this and so it's been an awesome experience and just love these dogs," Rankin said. 

The love for animals is what drove founder Wendy Fulghum to create ARC Hurricane Harvey Animal Rescue Center.

Fulghum said it was hard to see all those animals being left behind after the post hurricane floods.

"That's what makes it all worth it, is knowing that we saved dogs and the facility did serve its purpose and the community stepped up and made it happen," Fulghum said.

Fulghum said facility will now close at the end of the month because they no longer can afford operational costs

"It's been super stressful but in the end we made a difference and all that matters," Fulghum said.

Adding the strain of the monthly rent of more than $1,600, Fulghum said they paid the rent for the month, but by the end of October she hopes the remaining 14 dogs have a home.

The facility which used to house more than 60 rescues animals at the end of August, now surviving off of donations to function.

Meanwhile the volunteers remain dedicated to help these four-legged creatures.

"It's sad to see it go but at the same time its kind of a relief because people spend 24/7 here," Fulghum said.

The facility is hosting an adoption event on Saturday at the Capital One Bank in Lufkin to find homes for the remaining animals.

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