Dogs arrive at the Woodward Center amid record-breaking Texas storm. Courtesy Helen Woodward Animal Center

Twenty-seven dogs from the Lone Star state arrived at Helen Woodward Animal Center Wednesday, seeking warmer weather and a second chance at a forever home.

Last week, the 12 puppies and 15 adult dogs survived record-breaking winter storms and a shelter left uninhabitable in Texas. However with the dedication of Concho Valley Paws shelter workers, a transporter willing to brave the icy roads and the assistance of Helen Woodward Animal Center staff, the future looks sunny for these Texas critters.

The Woodward center began working with Concho Valley Paws in May 2020.

A pup receives love from mom upon arrival in San Diego. Courtesy Helen Woodward Animal Center

As the coronavirus pandemic got worse, shelters across the country were forced into lockdown and struggling with limited staff members. The center has connected with the Texas-based animal welfare facility and welcomed transports of shelter pups over the last nine months.

Two weeks ago, Concho Valley Paws faced new challenges. An alert was sent out to all Concho Valley residents regarding toxins found in the water system. Water lines were shut off across the city as repairs were being made.

Then, before repairs could be completed, a record-breaking blizzard hit the area, freezing pipes, knocking out electricity and blocking roads.

The dogs should become available for adoption over the next few days. Courtesy Helen Woodward Animal Center

“The Concho Valley Paws staff members were there every day,” said LaBeth Thompson, Woodward center adoption partner liaison. “They were trying to keep the animals warm, fed, hydrated and clean but it was really a desperate situation. It was even challenging to get out there to them because the roads were so bad.”

The Woodward center depended on one of its most dedicated transporters, Melissa Maertens, who found her way around road blocks and icy passageways to get the Concho Valley pooches into her vehicle and on their way to California.

“When a natural disaster occurs, there are so many lives at risk,” said Helen Woodward Animal Center president Mike Arms. “But it’s easy to forget about some of the smallest and most helpless. I’m incredibly touched by the staff at Concho Valley Paws who didn’t forget about those orphan pets and worked in unbelievably challenging circumstances to keep them safe and cared for until they could get them out to us.”

Arms said the Woodward center is also surprising Concho Valley Paws with a monetary donation to help the shelter get back to working order.

The Concho Valley arrivals will become available for adoption over the next few days and weeks as they are cleared by medical staff. Those interested in adopting can visit www.animalcenter.org or call 858-756-4117, ext. 313.

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