Hurricane Irma: Dozens of dogs abandoned, left unable to escape-PetsOnBoard.com

Authorities in south Florida may pursue felony charges against people who abandoned their animals as Hurricane Irma approached the Florida peninsula.

Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control director Dianne Sauve said the agency recovered roughly 40 dogs in the days before Irma made landfall in Florida. Some were tied up, others were in pens or in enclosed yards, unable to escape.

She said such abandonment is one of the worst things someone can do to their pet, saying “There is absolutely no excuse for doing that.”

On Sunday morning, the Florida Department of Public Health reiterated the dangers posed when pets are abandoned during a storm.

Sauve said the agency will pursue felony animal cruelty charges if they are able to gather enough evidence and find and identify a pet’s owners, which can be difficult. The agency’s shelter also took in about 40 other cats and dogs relinquished by their owners. Sauve said that’s not unusual, but the number of surrenders is higher than in previous storms. “These are things that are not unexpected during a situation like this,” she said, adding there are two pet-friendly shelters in Palm Beach County. “It’s always disappointing. Our goal is to keep pets and people together.”

She stresses people not give up on their pets as Irma moves up the Florida peninsula. Willingly giving up your pet in Palm Beach County means you give up ownership and therefore cannot get the pet back after Irma passes. Plus, voluntarily surrendering your pet could make it more difficult to adopt another pet in the future.

“I feel torn about that at times,” she said, “but we’re not a boarding facility.”

Sauve offered more advice for pet owners:

– Don’t let your dog out right after the storm passes, it’s going to be confused by the damage and debris. Animal caretakers see an a spike in animal injuries after storms because animals get cut and caught on debris.

– If you come upon an abandoned pet, use caution. The combination of confused dogs and stressed people result in an uptick of dog bites after storms.

On Sunday morning, the Florida Department of Public Health reiterated the dangers posed when pets are abandoned during a storm.

Source: Hurricane Irma: Dozens of dogs abandoned, left unable to escape

(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)