The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read ®

Issue 974

Sam Mazzotta

What Became of Pets After Hurricane?

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: What happened to all of the pets that were caught up in the terrible flooding that struck North and South Carolina after Hurricane Florence last month? — Sarah in Tallahassee, Florida

DEAR SARAH: While Hurricane Florence’s massive rainfall caused loss of life throughout the region, including humans, pets and livestock, shelters in the Carolinas and in neighboring states put on a massive coordinated effort to get as many pets out of harm’s way as possible before the storm hit.

Dogs, cats and other animals that were already in shelters waiting to be adopted were evacuated to other states, even as far away as Minnesota. That made room for pets whose owners needed to evacuate to facilities that wouldn’t allow pets, as well as pets rescued during the storm. The evacuation began days before the storm hit.

As the waters recede, owners are reclaiming their pets from shelters. For example, the Pitt County, North Carolina, animal shelter housed at least 224 pets during the storm; all but four are back home. (Residents had 10 days after the last human shelter closed to pick up their pets.) The four dogs remaining likely will be put up for adoption.

In other areas where floodwaters were slow to recede, shelters are caring for the animals as best they can until their families are able to take them back. Volunteers are pitching in where they can.

And these shelters will need help after the waters recede. Consider donating money or supplies directly to shelters in the area, or even in your home state where evacuated pets may be housed. Cause for Paws of NC is coordinating many donation efforts in North Carolina, and other national organizations are involved, too.

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(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.