After stalling over the Bahamas, killing at least 5, Hurricane Dorian is currently moving towards to the east coast of the United States, leading to mandatory evacuation orders in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Having to pick up and leave your home due to a weather-related catastrophe is always stressful, but it is especially challenge for animal rescues and sanctuaries, which not only have to look after human staff members, but all the of the furry lives they are responsible for too.
To help ensure the safety of Florida’s rescue pets, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) coordinated the evacuation of approximately 80 animals from three different Florida animal shelters on Sunday.
The adoptable pets, mostly cats and large-breed dogs, from Nassau Humane Society, Jacksonville Animal Protective Services and St. Johns County Pet Center, were placed on a plane chartered by the HSUS.
This rescue flight left from Jacksonville and landed in Michigan, where the furry evacuees were transported to the Michigan Humane Society. The shelter distributed the animals among their local partners to ensure all of the pets are safe, comfortable and cared for until they find their forever families.
“By transporting dogs and cats who were already up for adoption out of the region, we are able to increase the capacity of the threatened communities as they prepare for flooding and an anticipated influx of displaced animals,” said Kate MacFall, Florida senior state director for the Humane Society of the United States, in a statement. “A lot of these animals are big dogs with lots of love to give, and they will make fantastic family members.”
The South Florida Wildlife Center in Fort Lauderdale is also preparing for animals displaced by Hurricane Dorian by moving out their current residents.
According to the HSUS, the center’s staff worked through Saturday and Sunday to move all the facility’s residents, which include hawks, owls, ducklings, squirrels and opossums, to foster homes out of Dorian’s destructive path. SWFC closed on Monday, but plans to open as soon as the storm has passed and the grounds are secured, so they can help wild animals affected by the hurricane.
To help care for and protect the animals affected by Hurricane Dorian, consider donating to The Emergency Animal Rescue Fund, or one of the shelters mentioned above.