Rescuers Discover & Rescue Pets Who Were Abandoned During Hurricane Irma

By Briana Hansen

Difficult decisions need to be made in the face of an emergency. And when Hurricane Irma was headed to Florida, many animal owners made the heartbreaking decision to leave their pets — at least temporarily — behind.

Powerful Hurricane Irma Slams Into Florida
credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/GettyImages

Many owners did so responsibly, dropping their animals off at a local shelter that promised to protect them. Or simply staying with them at pet-friendly shelters.

But others left their pets chained up outside, totally vulnerable to the dangerous oncoming hurricane.

Luckily, for all animal lovers out there, people bonded together to no only find these animals ...

... but also rescue them by providing safe shelter before the storm.

Palm Beach County Animal Care found 49 chained up dogs and two abandoned cats in just 48 hours, and brought them inside to safety. Authorities did the best they could to find as many abandoned animals as possible, but when the winds exceeded 35 mph, they had to take cover themselves. They plan on legally adopting those abandoned animals prosecuting their owners for animal cruelty.

In the meantime, though, many pets are finding happy homes with temporary foster families.

Animals rescued at these loving Florida shelters are being provided with excellent care and resources. In fact, the shelter issued an official statement that they don't need any more foster families thanks to the outpouring of support from Florida families.

And, as things begin to calm from the chaos of Irma, hopefully, more missing and abandoned animals are found and rescued.

Are you interested in learning more about what you're reading? Scroll through this article about the first five things to do when a pet goes missing. Also, like us on Facebook and join our newsletter to learn more about your pet's behavior.