JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After Hurricane Irma hammered Florida, pets surrendered by people who couldn't take them when they evacuated are in need of new homes.
Nearly 200 dogs are ready to find a home in Jacksonville after making the journey from Hillsborough and Alachua counties. Some were surrendered by their owners after the storm and others were already in shelters and are just clearing the way for stray animals waiting to be united with their owners.
Those displaced dogs are among hundreds of animals up for adoption this weekend at the Mega Adoption event at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds.
Rick DuCharme, founder and CEO of First Coast No More Homeless Pets, said lending a hand to neighbors in Florida is a priority.
"I think it's important for all of our communities to work together in recovery situations because we never know when the next disaster is going to be in Duval County," DuCharme said.
Some of the dogs were surrendered by their owners, because the owners could no longer care for them due to loss or damage. Whatever the situation, DuCharme asked Jacksonville residents to come with an open heart and an open mind to this weekend's Mega Adoption event.
"We don't know the situation that the person was in, so we can't judge what they did or what happened. But what we can do is turn that situation into a happy story and give these dogs all forever homes," Ducharme said.
The event runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and the adoption fee is $20.