HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Hurricane Harvey has displaced hundreds of pets, and 2 Besties Biscuits in Hannibal is raising money to assist an Austin, Texas, animal shelter that is taking in many of them.
The co-founders of 2 Besties Biscuits, Angela and Paula Brown, are selling T-shirts at 2bestiesbiscuits.com to raise money for Austin Pets Alive, and the two will donate 20 percent of all biscuit proceeds to the Austin shelter. The fundraising campaign runs through Sept. 11.
"We discussed between the two of us our concern for the mammals that would be affected by this disaster, and at one point we were both crying over the thought of someone coming to rescue us and telling us that we had to leave behind our dogs," Angela Brown said.
"The hurricane flooding hit, and we saw the photo of the dog carrying around the bag of dog food. Then we were overwhelmed by videos and photos of animals in the floodwater, humans struggling to lug their animals and a few belongings, rescue crews saving animals that had been abandoned.
"At that point we knew we had to help."
Austin Pets Alive has been working with shelters to transport as many pets as possible to its shelter, and it announced Tuesday on Facebook that it already has taken in nearly 500 animals. The shelter also said it expects to take in between 50 and 100 more animals each day because of people surrendering their pets and more roads opening, leading to additional animal intake.
Austin Pets Alive said on its website that getting the pets and taking them in will cost the shelter more than $20,000, and that number does not include the cost of buying supplies such as food and cat litter.
"When we send the money to them on Sept. 12, we know the money will be put to good use," Angela Brown said. "The efforts made by Austin Pets Alive will not end when the flooding is over. Some will come back for their pets, and some will not."
The T-shirts that 2 Besties Biscuits is selling online include an artistic paw print done by Hannibal artist Brian Genovese. The orders will be sent to Landmarx the morning of Sept. 12, and the turnaround to have the shirts shipped to customers is 10 days. The shirts cost $10, and 100 percent of proceeds from T-shirt sales will be donated.
"If we can sell 200 shirts, we can donate $2,000, and that number will be increased by the 20 percent donated from our biscuit sales," Angela Brown said. "Our motives (for starting 2 Besties Biscuits) have always been clear. It's about the mammals. It's about a community coming together to assist others when need be."