HSUS Coordinates Evacuation of Adoptable Dogs and Cats To Safe Haven As Hurricane Dorian Approaches; How To Be Prepared

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(Left) Photo by HSUS

As Hurricane Dorian threatens the East Coast, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) coordinated an evacuation of approximately 80 animals out of three Florida animal shelters. Over the weekend, a rescue flight funded and coordinated by the HSUS departed from Jacksonville with cats and mostly large-breed dogs who were up for adoption at Nassau Humane Society, Jacksonville Animal Protective Services and St. Johns County Pet Center.

The Humane Society of the United States funded a rescue flight of 80 animals from 3 Florida shelters along the east coast, Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services, St Johns County Pet Center and Nassau Humane Society. This frees up space in the FL shelters for displaced animals who may be affected by Hurricane Dorian. The flight departed Jacksonville Sheltair FBO airport, heading to Michigan and will get a warm welcome from HSUS shelter partner, Michigan Humane on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 (Jesus Aranguren/AP Images for The Humane Society of the United States)

This transport aimed to increase the capacity of the shelters as they prepare for potential flooding and structural damage and position them to care for an anticipated influx of animals displaced by the storm.

Michigan Humane Society will receive the animals and distribute them among their partners in Michigan.

“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 Humane Society of the United States funded a rescue flight of 80 animals from 3 Florida shelters along the east coast, Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services, St Johns County Pet Center and Nassau Humane Society. This frees up space in the FL shelters for displaced animals who may be affected by Hurricane Dorian. The flight departed Jacksonville Sheltair FBO airport, heading to Michigan and will get a warm welcome from HSUS shelter partner, Michigan Humane on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 (Jesus Aranguren/AP Images for The Humane Society of the United States)

The HSUS is urging pet owners to take the following steps:

  • Make sure that cats and dogs are wearing collars and identification tags that are up to date. You’ll increase your chances of being reunited with pets who get lost by having them microchipped; make sure the microchip registration is in your name. But remember: The average citizen who finds your pet won’t be able to scan for a chip, but they will probably be able to read a basic tag.

  • Put your cell phone number on your pet’s tag. It may also be a good idea to include the phone number of a friend or relative outside your immediate area—in case you have had to evacuate.

If you evacuate, take your pet with you.

  • Rule number one: If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. You have no way of knowing how long you’ll be kept out of the area, and you may not be able—or allowed—to go back for your pets. Pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost or killed. Remember to make plans for ALL your pets; during natural disasters, disaster plans for feral or outdoor catshorses and animals on farms can be lifesavers.

  • Rule number two: Evacuate early. Don’t wait for a mandatory evacuation order. Some people who have waited to be evacuated by emergency officials have been told to leave their pets behind. The smell of smoke or the sound of high winds or thunder may make your pet more fearful and difficult to load into a crate or carrier. Evacuating before conditions become severe will keep everyone safer and make the process less stressful.

Find a safe place to stay ahead of time

Never assume that you will be allowed to bring your pet to an emergency shelter. Before a disaster hits, call your local office of emergency management to verify that there will be shelters in your area that take people and their pets.

For more info to help you and your pets be prepared during a natural disaster, CLICK HERE!

Support is urgently needed: both so HSUS can help during this emergency, and to support their preparedness, rescue, care and relief work in all other emergencies, including natural disasters and cruelty cases.

Please consider making a donation to HSUS’s Emergency Animal Rescue Fund HERE!

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