If you wonder how you can help the pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, the answer is to make a donation to one of the many organizations that are working in the storm area. And consider adopting a pet. Every animal that is adopted from a shelter or rescue group makes room and gives another animal a chance to be adopted!
As Hurricane Matthew was heading for the United States east coast, preparations were already underway to help people and their pets. One pet-friendly shelter in Broward County, Florida, was designed to hold up to five hundred people and three hundred fifty pets. They know that for many of us, pets are family. Others may choose to try to ride out the storm at home with their pets, putting both themselves and their furry friends in danger, and ultimately posing a danger for those who try to come to their rescue. And some who can’t take their pets with them when they must evacuate may decide to leave their animals at home, hoping they will be okay.
The American Humane Association sent two of its giant fifty-foot emergency rescue vehicles to Florida and South Carolina to assist with emergency aid, and help reunite lost pets with their owners. One team member took his emergency vehicle to North Myrtle Beach, where he secured and manned a local shelter housing one hundred sixty-six dogs so shelter workers could look after their own families. When the electricity went out, he was able to hook up the emergency rescue vehicle to the shelter to keep the ventilation system operating so the frightened animals would not overheat.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, pet rescue efforts are underway as volunteers are using boats to search for stranded animals. The Humane Society of the United States reports that six shelters in Ohio and Pennsylvania, designated as Emergency Placement Partners, combined efforts to take in about sixty dogs from a South Carolina shelter that was forced to close due to flooding. Those animals were not lost by their owners, but were waiting to be adopted. Now they will have a chance to find new forever homes in other cities.
In your community, there are homeless pets waiting and hoping for a chance to show what wonderful companions they can be. October is Adopt A Dog Month, a great time to visit your local animal shelter or rescue group and adopt a new best friend who can help you weather the storms of life together, when you’re speaking of pets.