JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Humane Society took in some of the animals that had to be evacuated from a shelter in Gulfport, Mississippi, ahead of Hurricane Ida.
As many as 50 dogs were evacuated from the Gulfport shelter, which is located less than a mile from the coastline.
“The smart thing to do was get the dogs and cats out ahead of the storm -- which they did,” said Denise Deisler, Jacksonville Humane Society spokesperson.
Members of the Charleston South Carolina Animal Society volunteered to pick up the dogs and drop them off at shelters in Tampa, Daytona Beach and Jacksonville.
“Their shelter is actually located very close to the Gulf. You can see the Gulf from their shelter. They wanted to make sure they got out as many animals as they could, not knowing what was coming,” said Bryant Taylor, Charleston Animal Society emergency response and preparedness manager.
Shortly after 2:45 p.m. Monday, the last five dogs arrived at the Jacksonville Humane Society.
“We typically don’t support bringing animals into Florida because it’s a pretty tough state all by itself, but if we can relate to anything, we can relate to a hurricane,” Deisler said. “We’re full. Everybody else is full. It’s that time of the year in shelters. We’re packed full. But if several of us could get together in Florida and each take five or six, then there’s no huge burden on any single shelter.”
The Jacksonville Humane Society shelter was already at maximum capacity when it accepted the new additions, so to help ease the capacity, all adoption fees have been waived until further notice.
All five dogs got a clean bill of health before leaving Mississippi and are available for adoption or foster care until they can find a forever home.
The Jacksonville Humane Society said that if you can’t adopt or foster an animal, donations would help because there are a lot of adoptable animals to feed. It also said it is looking for more volunteers because there are a lot of dogs that not only need to be walked but also need to have daily interaction with people.