Rescued After Harvey, Homeless Animals Make Way to Minnesota for Adoption

December 17, 2017 10:27 PM

Minnesotans are getting the chance to make a difference in dozens of lives. 

In particular, the lives of 80 rescue dogs and cats. The animals were abandoned on the sides of roads or rescued from flooded or overcrowded shelters in Texas following Hurricane Harvey. 


They escaped dangerous living conditions in the south and will make Minnesota home thanks to two nonprofits devoted to animals: Houston Pet Set and Ruff Start Rescue in Princeton. 

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Tena Lundquist Faust and her sister Tama Lundquist are native Minnesotans. They grew up in Brainerd and now live in Texas.

The sisters started Houston Pet Set and planned to relocate rescues with their father, Wayne, who still lived up north. But he died in a car accident about this time last year. 

In his honor, they carried out the mission.

"We have a surplus of shelter animals, and we needed to move them," Lundquist Faust said.

The animals made the journey in a big bus from Texas to Minnesota over the weekend. The transport pulled up to Ruff Start Rescue on Sunday, where pets in need were connected with people who love. 

"We have 300 foster homes in Central Minnesota," said founder Azure Davis. "We save dogs, cats, critters in any situation we can." 

One of the pups landed a place in Jill Bellobuono's heart and home just in time for the holidays, and on the one-year anniversary of losing her previous West Highland White Terrier.

"They have so much unconditional love, and I just needed to share that with another one," Bellobuono said.

Bellobuono's new Westie, Izzy, is 5 years old and had been homeless since Harvey.

Ruff Start Rescue said 34 of the animals had foster families waiting. Dozens more need a temporary home.

Organizers say that when someone adopts a shelter pet, it saves two lives. 

"It opens up room in shelters, and then another 80 street dogs or cats can come into the shelter system and be spared a life on the street or euthanasia," Lundquist said.

Event organizers said the animals will be spayed or neutered and given medical care. Then, they'll be ready for adoption in a week or so.


Beth McDonough

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