Emergency Preparation & Response
TAHC and USDA plan, collaborate, and coordinate with the states’ animal health-related agencies, agriculture industries, and other related agencies and parties. TAHC and USDA work to prevent and respond to foreign animal disease outbreaks, dangerous parasite or pest infestations, and bioterrorism. The agencies are ready to assist in response and recovery during natural or man-made catastrophes, including fires, floods, and hurricanes, in accordance with the FEMA Emergency Response Plan and/or the State of Texas Emergency plan in the following areas: Animal ownership identification, livestock restraint/capture, carcass disposal, coordinating livestock evacuation, consulting on animal health and public health concerns, and chemical/biological terrorism issues
Locating Lost Companion Animals and Livestock
If you are searching for lost companion animals, here is a list of links to websites which may be helpful:
- Finding Rover
- Paw Boost
- Facebook Hurricane Harvey Lost and Found Pets
- Pet Harbor
- Contact your local animal shelters.
If you are searching for lost livestock or horses here is a list of links to websites which may help:
These lists are not exhaustive and TAHC is not responsible for site content or security.
- Current Hurricane Information
- Texas Hurricane Center from the Office of the Governor
- NOAA Hurricane Safety
- Flooding: Before, During, and After
- Floods and Your Livestock
- Floods and Your Pets
- Flooding: Animal Health Concerns
Lost or Found Livestock
If you find stray livestock, call Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) at 817-332-7064. Visit www.tscra.org for more information. If you find cattle or other livestock with official identification, document the number, location of the animal(s), and call the TAHC at 512-719-0733 or 806-354-9335 and TAHC will contact the owner.
If livestock have strayed onto your property, you must report them to the sheriff's office in the county you are located in within five days of discovery to be eligible for reasonble payment for maintenance of or damages caused by the estray livestock. For more information regarding Texas' estray laws visit: Texas Agriculture Code, Chapter 142.
As the Hurricane Harvey response efforts transition to recovery efforts, Texans may face the challenge of animal disposal. Please use the following resources to guide you during this recovery phase.
Animal Carcasses in Public Areas (including residential): Animal carcasses found in public areas or rights-of-way should be reported to the local county Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to be handled through the jurisdiction’s debris management plan. You can find your county’s EOC information at http://www.tdms.org/county.aspx or or on your county’s website.
Carcasses on private property, non-residential areas: Animal owners and operators are responsible for the proper disposal of their animals. To learn about common methods of non-diseased animal carcass disposal visit Disaster-Related Carcass Disposal Guide. or visit the Texas Commission Environmental Quality’s website at www.tceq.texas.gov.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can provide additional technical assistance and may be able to help with debris removal from waterways. News Release: Assistance Available for Flood Damaged Ag Land through NRCS. For more information visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.
If you find a stray animal carcass on your property, contact your local EOC. You can find your county’s EOC information at http://www.tdms.org/county.aspx.
Livestock Indemnity and Assistance
USDA-FSA Producer Hotline: 866-680-6069
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers many safety-net programs to help producers recover from eligible losses, including the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) and the Tree Assistance Program. The FSA Emergency Conservation Program provides funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters. Producers located in counties that received a primary or contiguous disaster designation are eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses.
USDA encourages farmers and ranchers to contact their local FSA office to learn what documents can help the local office expedite assistance, such as farm records, receipts and pictures of damages or losses.
To talk to a professional who can help you cope with emotional distress after a disaster: Call the disaster distress helpline at 800-985-5990, text TalkWithUs to 66746, or visit http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov.
Animal Shelters and Holding Facilities
If you are seeking a large or small animal shelter/holding facility in your area or in your evacuation area, call 2-1-1 or contact the emergency management department in the area you are seeking shelter. To view a list of Texas animal holding facilities and shelters click here.
Seeking Animal Supplies
Texas A&M AgriLife has established Animal Supply Points for livestock and companion animals in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. To find a supply point near you, call 979-845-7800 or visit www.today.agrilife.org.
- Monetary: TAHC does not accept monetary donations, however we encourage the usual avenues, such as the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) STAR Fund - Helping Texas Farmers and Ranchers Recover from Disaster, Texas Farm Bureau Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund for Agriculture, Cattle Raisers Relief Fund , Red Cross, Salvation Army, SPCA or other organizations.
- Hay: Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) helps agricultural producers locate forage and hay supplies. If you need hay or would like to donate hay, visit the TDA website or call 512-803-7847.
- Animal Supplies: Texas A&M AgriLife accepts any donations for animals. Examples of items accepted include square bale horse quality hay, various types of hay for cattle in round or square bales, all-stock feed, and range cubes protein supplement at this time. Contact AgriLife at 979-845-7800.
Extreme Heat: How You Can Prepare
The Texas summers can get hot and with proper preparation your animals can keep cool and hydrated during the summer months.
Severe Weather: How You Can Prepare
Tornadoes and flooding can occur anywhere with little or no warning. Severe weather has the potential to cause catastrophic loss of life and property, financial, and environment damage to local communities. Animals may be displaced and need temporary sheltering, housing feeding, and care. They may also be injured or diseased and need veterinary attention. Prepare now to protect your livestock and pets during severe weather.
Winter Weather: How You Can Prepare
Winter storms and cold weather can impact animal health as well as human health. Winter storms can be stressful to livestock. Wind chills and prolonged cold increases their need for shelter, food and water. Prepare now to protect your livestock and pets during winter storms.
Emergency Management Training
- FEMA: Beginning Incident Command System Courses such as ICS 100, 200, 700 (NIMS), or 800
- Preparing Texas: Texas Division of Emergency Management
- To enroll in advanced Incident Command System trainings such as ICS 300 or 400, or to locate other emergency management related trainings, visit the Texas Emergency Management website.