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Silver Lining for Palm Valley Animal Society after Winter Storm Uri sweeps through the Rio Grande Valley

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Edinburg, TX – Ninety-nine dogs from Palm Valley Animal Society are scheduled to board a Wings of Rescue flight from McAllen, Texas all the way to Delaware sponsored by Petco Foundation as part of rescue efforts through Delaware-based animal organization, Brandywine Valley SPCA.

The good news comes following Winter Storm Uri which Texas and Rio Grande Valley residents are still struggling to recover from. Palm Valley Animal Society sustained more than $20,000 dollars in damages and costs between their Trenton and Andrews Centers due to ventilation repairs, broken washer and dryers, failed electricity, frozen pipes, lack of available water, and indoor heating systems. Additional costs come from veterinarian relief, overtime hours, fuel, animal transport costs, health certifications required for transport, and much more.

PVAS’s main concern during the winter storm, however, was getting their dogs in from the cold.

“We have about 200 outdoor kennels on the property at our Trenton Location,” says Donna Casamento, Executive Director of Palm Valley Animal Society in Edinburg. “We had tarps some donated and some purchased . . . we made a push for fosters before the night of the big freeze. We asked for a list of much-needed items like blankets, kerosene for our outdoor heaters…”

Residents of the RGV responded to PVAS’s call for help in kind, fostering more than 100 dogs in the following week and removing them from the cold. Countless donations were dropped off or delivered, items like blankets, towels, bottled water, pet food, much-needed kerosene gasoline, and more.

“We’re so thankful for the local community. We had people coming in carrying arms full of blankets, treats, toys, you name it.”

Relief did not come through local support only. PVAS’s online Facebook plea reached over half a million people and the shelter was able to raise almost $13,000 in funding that will be used toward repairs and further care of their pets.

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“As a way of giving back to the local community, we offered fee-waived adoptions for anyone who fostered an adult dog during Winter Storm Uri,” says Executive Director, Donna Casamento. “We also held our monthly Pet Food Pantry the following weekend and decided to extend free pet food to any valley resident every day of the week at either of our shelters while supplies last.”

Executive Director Casamento went on to say that it’s this kind of local camaraderie that will help community members get through tough times like the winter snap. 

This is why she is so eager for the flight transporting Palm Valley Animal Society’s 99 dogs to Delaware.

“It’s a historical moment for our organization,” said Executive Director Casamento. “Petco Foundation who has been a huge supporter of Palm Valley Animal Society in the past and is once again stepping up with funding to support the animals of the RGV. Adam Lamb, CEO of Brandywine Valley SPCA, reached out with the offer to help and we’re definitely thankful.

“Our Animal Rescue Center was opened specifically for emergency needs like this,” said Adam Lamb, Brandywine Valley SPCA CEO. “We’re looking forward to putting it to use to help finish the hard work of the folks at Palm Valley Animal Society to save these animals by finding them homes here in our area.”

The air-bound canines will depart at 8 a.m. Monday morning from McCreery Aviation Co. on South 10th Street and is exactly the type of programming Palm Valley Animal Society would like to see more of in the future. 

“We’re looking forward to continuing this partnership with Brandywine SPCA and Petco Foundation by making trips like this, whether by air or ground, happen every other week if possible,” said Executive Director Casamento. “Our shelters are overcrowded with anywhere from 30 to 100 animals coming in daily. Intake will be increasing because the County has just reduced COVID restrictions again. Help like this is so important to our ability to sustain our no-kill status.”

PVAS makes routine road trips to deliver dogs to rescue partners in places like San Antonio, Houston, Colorado, Chicago, and even Maine.

“The impact of transporting this many animals at any one time for our shelter is monumental. With partnerships like this existing, we have the potential to save more animal lives than ever before.”

PVAS is asking for donations of medium to large-sized plastic dog crates as each dog requires a crate for transport. Donations can be dropped off at either of PVAS’s locations (Trenton or Andrews) between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. every day of the week. To help PVAS continue its lifesaving work with monetary donations, please visit pvastx.org/donate

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