Scroll to Top
A Special Announcement from Dr. James DeLano
September 8, 2017

Very few events in a lifetime come to be known by a single name. They are typically ones whose impact is regional, if not national. As humans, many of us feel the innate desire to help. 24/7 television coverage and social media detail the enormity, the challenges, the efforts.

As Harvey approached Texas, Julie and I kept in contact via text with veterinary friends of ours. Having lived through several floods over the past five years, Jeff told me "Kathy has had us prepared since June 1. She is a better Boy Scout than I ever could be." Harvey was different for them. Even the best prepared couldn't predict the magnitude.

The first night rain pounded the region continually. Power was lost intermittently but only for short periods. The morning brought water, streets flooded but drivable, they had seen this before. As day two progressed the water began creeping up the driveway surrounding the house, filling the garage. Little things one cannot prepare for occurred, such as, convincing the dog go to the bathroom in the house. When we train them, it is to go outside. How does one convince a dog it is OK to go inside?

Late that afternoon as the hurricane moved over Houston water began entering the house, that evening, the power went out. A hot dog dinner on fine china commenced by candlelight with the dog and cat trapped on the bed. The night wore on, water levels inside reaching three inches, no means to evacuate. We texted screen shots of weather radar and words of encouragement. At one point I asked Jeff if he had a boat to evacuate. "I have a plan", was the reply.
Jeff and Katherine drove out the next morning as the water receded, the damage done.

Post Katrina, BRVC raised money for shelters in Louisiana and provided medical care to ten of the dogs airlifted to the Bay Area. We did our part then, it seems more personal this time. Veterinary staff members were born to help humans and animals.

Here is how BRVC is going to help Westbury Animal Hospital in Houston, TX:

Adopt WAH staff members: We have individually adopted staff members (55 of them) and hand written inspirational cards of support. An Amazon gift card is in each – they will be hand delivered Friday morning.

Airlift staff to Houston: We are flying staff to Houston to provide more than just inspirational support long distance. Our staff will fly down over the next 6-8 weeks to relieve their staff. So far, 38 of our staff have signed up as volunteers. WAH has agreed to provide each of their own staff members with paid time off so that person can work on getting their life back in order. Some people may just need a personal day to decompress, others to look for different housing.

Pets in need: Occasionally their long time clients come in and need to divert their resources towards other things. We are putting some monies into a fund for WAH to use at their discretion for special needs cases of their clients. There are numerous rescue organizations and shelters working with pets already down there. This will be available for their clients and won't be advertised as they cannot handle a deluge of clients.

Here is how you can help BRVC and Westbury Animal Hospital:

Make a contribution by clicking here (be sure to put "Harvey" in the comment box). The goal is to raise $30,000. BRVC is putting in the first $10,000. If our clients exceed $10,000, we will match them $1 for $1 for another $5,000. You can also go directly to our website ( and click on "Make A Payment" (don't forget to put "Harvey" in the comment box).

Here is where the money goes:
It will take approximately $900 for each staff member that goes to Houston. That covers the airplane ticket, $600 on SWA right now, $200 for car rental or transportation to/from the practice and $50/day. Our staff members are donating their time. I do not want them to be out of pocket on expenses. Right now we have not budgeted for housing as it appears they will stay with staff members down there whose homes were not affected. Many of them will be picked up at the airport so we don't have the transportation costs and with some luck the price on tickets will begin to drop as well. If it costs less than $900 per person, more can go!

As my father always says, "You get way more out than you put in". Please consider helping us improve the quality of life of the animals AND humans in Houston, TX.

Sign Up for our Newsletter!
Sign Up