PEPPERELL -- When two women in Pepperell learned there was an unfilled need in Houston after Hurricane Harvey, they were eager to help.
They joined a client's mission to bring needed supplies to the humane society in the stricken city.
"We need to help out and do what we can," said Jose Dudley, who owns Art of Healing Holistic Center in Pepperell with Patti Eames.
Heidi and Doug Howarth, owners of Ultimate Party Bus of New England in Greenville, N.H. and Elmhaven Farm in Pepperell, decided to fill a 50-foot horse trailer with hay after learning that it was needed. They contacted area businesses and rounded up hay.
The Houston Humane Society also needed canned dog and cat food.
"I thought, 'Well, I can help out with the canned part,'" Dudley said.
Both Eames and Dudley put the word out on social media and donations arrived.
"It was totally just throwing it out there," Dudley said. "We had such a positive response."
Every night, they took new donations in.
One man mentioned it at the pet store and bought canned food at half price, Dudley said.
One family wrote "good luck" on their donations and signed them with the names of their pets and the zip code.
"It made it so personal," Dudley said.
Hurricane Irma delayed the trip to Houston. Fearful of driving the "absolutely huge" rig through the storm, they waited until the third week in September to make the big drive.
The Pepperell donations included 74 pounds of dry food and over 400 cans of food. In all, more than 1,400 pounds of pet food and 600 bales of hay is on its way to Texas.
Doug Howarth and drivers Michael DuMouchel and Paul Goupil left Sunday, Sept. 17 and expect to be back in New England by Friday.
"This is ... something that we are all so excited about," Goupil said. "It's just an opportunity to give back."
Even though the ultimate party bus for homeless animals has left New England, it is not too late to help Houston's animals.
The Howarths set up a GoFundMe page: www.gofundme.com/4legged-friends-hurricane-relief
Follow Anne O'Connor on Twitter @a1oconnor.