Hurricane Harvey brings more than just wind and rain to Muncie

Reagan Allen, DN File
Reagan Allen, DN File

For more information on available pets, visit or call 765-747-4851. 

Many two-legged individuals were displaced after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. But what about the four-legged ones? Some of those individuals have made their way to Muncie.

Eleven cats and nine dogs made the 16-hour trip from Texas to the Muncie Animal Shelter.

Phil Peckinpaugh, director of Muncie Animal Care and Services says he and his staff wanted to do their part. 

“When the hurricane hit Texas, we were very touched by the images we saw,” Peckinpaugh said. “We have definitely faced some adversity here and we’ve always had shelters and rescue groups step up and help us. So we took that opportunity to reach out to numerous shelters in the Houston area and offered our services, if they needed space for animals they were accepting, that we could accept animals on their behalf.”

After reaching out to numerous shelters in the Houston area, a couple of shelters, including the SPCA Abilene in Abilene, Texas and the Montgomery County Animal Shelter in Conroe, Texas, reached out to him. 

“I was very excited about receiving these pets from Houston,” Peckinpaugh said. “The sheltering community is a very accepting and a cohesive community, so it was really easy to offer that help.“

Although these animals weren’t rescued from the Houston floodwaters, they were transported from Abilene, Conroe and other shelters in the area to make room for the lost pets that were rescued. 

“Since the animals that were in the hurricane could very well have owners in the area, the shelters needed help clearing out animals that were currently in the shelter to be able to adequately house the animals directly involved. So they were all in really great shape or highly adoptable and we are really happy to have them,” Peckinpaugh said.

Peckinpaugh isn’t the only one who is happy about the animals coming to Muncie.

Arla Clark, a volunteer at Miller’s Merry Manor Senior Living Community, says she felt like her adoption of a displaced hurricane dog was meant to be. 

“I came in after work and the rest is history,” Clark said. “I’m excited. I have three more at home. We love dogs and she is going to a good home. She’s got lots of room to play, lots of sisters.”

Clark says her new adopted pet will be used as a therapy dog for the elderly and that God’s grace helped bring her to them. 

“We prayed specifically for this puppy. Everything we needed. Everything we needed in this dog, and God was faithful,” Clark said. “I mean, one of the requirements was I wanted to have a rescue dog. So how much of a rescue dog than coming from Texas could she be?”

Although she has not yet named her new adoptee, Clark says that she has some names in mind.

“I hope to name her ‘Blessing’ but my husband is not convinced yet of that name. She came from a shelter in Abilene, Texas so it may be Abby. She is going to be going to the nursing home and will be a therapy dog for the residents. So she is going to be a blessing and I really think that is going to be her name.”

While many of the pets have been adopted, some cats and dogs from the Texas are still at the Muncie Animal Shelter.


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