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Arthur woman in Houston  to rescue animals

Houston bound - Arthur’s Tracie Dawson-Groshaw is currently in Houston rescuing animals from the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. Dawson-Groshaw on Sept. 1 before she left Arthur.  Submitted photo

Arthur woman in Houston to rescue animals

by Jaime Myslik

ARTHUR - An Arthur woman is in Houston, Texas helping to rescue animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

“It’s been a harrowing few days,” said  Tracie Dawson-Groshaw, one of the executive directors of Dog Speed Animal Rescue and Transport Society in a Sept. 5 email.

“Driving though water flooded roads in the dead of night.

“Being told we needed to be decontaminated because we were in the water which has tested positive for E. coli and a flesh eating bacteria.”

Dawson-Groshaw left for Texas on Sept. 1.

“There’s a huge need all over so I can’t even tell you specifics about what I’m going to be doing,” Dawson-Groshaw said in an interview on Aug. 31.

“I know I will be going to the Fifth Ward in Texas because there’s a huge need there and one of our co-rescuers is the founder of the Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward in Houston.”

On Sept. 5 Dawson-Groshaw said her team had rescued seven cats, seven turtles, two bearded dragons and two parakeets in the Beaumont/Vidor area.

“We’ll be on the streets pulling stranded dogs and human beings,” she said in last week’s interview. “Whatever needs to be done. It’s not just animal based.

“Sometimes it will be animals and their people. Everything you see that’s happening on TV is what we’ll be doing.”

This is not Dawson-Groshaw’s first time helping in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

She was in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, in Chile after an earthquake, and in Brazil and Thailand after floods. She travels with a group she met in New Orleans after Katrina.

“We’re calling ourselves the Katrina Veterans,” she said, adding all the “veterans” are swift-water trained and ice-rescue trained.  

“Everything that we have learned up to this point is going to be utilized (in Texas), but we’re probably going to learn some more.”

It was the Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward organization that asked Dawson-Groshaw and the other “Katrina veterans” to mobilize and head to Texas.

“They’re not asking for rogue rescuers right now, they’re asking for experienced people with training ,” said Dawson-Groshaw.

“In time there will be a need for regular volunteers; people who can go and work in the shelters and do dishes and do laundry and that kind of thing ...

“But for right now because it’s so new ... they’re asking just for people with boating experience, credentials and all the things that you need to be prepared and not get yourself hurt in those kind of situations.”

Dawson-Groshaw said she plans to be in Texas for two or three weeks. When she returns another member of the Dog Speed Animal Rescue and Transport Society will likely head down to pick up where she left off.

She’s unsure of what supplies will be needed.

“I don’t want to tell people not to give donations, but save their money until we really know what we need,” she said.

The animals currently being rescued are sent to a depot in Houston.

“They are documented ... because they may not be stray,” she said.

As of Sept. 5 Dawson-Groshaw said she is in Montgomery volunteering with Best Friends animal society and helping care for animals in need.

“It’s great to feel safe now,” she said. “It’s was a scary journey getting here.”

For more information visit


September 8, 2017


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