JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hurricane Irma slammed communities across Florida, forcing evacuations before and after the storm. Parts of Clay County faced devastating flooding, leaving not only people but pets as well without homes.
Flooded facilities in Clay County forced local shelters to evacuate 66 pets following the storm. Thankfully, the Jacksonville Humane Society had some extra kennel space to shelter them.
“We decided that we should transfer our animals out of our shelter before Irma,” Amy Pierce, with the Jacksonville Humane Society, said. “We learned that lesson from Houston. They did that and it was a wise move.”
Many shelters across Florida are overwhelmed with stray animals coming in after the storm.
Aldwin Roman, Director of anti-cruelty and outreach at Charleston Animal Society, said the organization was in Jacksonville Saturday, trying to ease the overload and give Florida pet shelters some relief.
“We are coming in and taking all the adoptable animals that were already here before the storm, taking them out somewhere else finding them a home, and really just taking that burden off Jacksonville Humane Society and any shelter that we can help,” Roman said.
Roman said people in Greenville, North Carolina, are ready to help find them forever homes in the Southeast and across the country.
“We're not going to let borderlines, state lines or county lines stop us from saving animals,” Roman said.
Many organizations are stretched for resources right now, but working together and making animal welfare a national effort helps save lives.
Starting early next week, the Jacksonville Humane Society plans to take in pets from over-crowded and storm-damaged shelters in South Florida.