I’m just spit-balling here, but animal control in Florida may be on the road to revenge with their new push to prosecute any owners of pets that may have left their dogs to fend for themselves during hurricane Irma.
Animal Care and Control officers out of Palm Beach County were able to rescue 49 dogs in the days leading up to Irma. What was really telling was that many of the dogs that were rescued were tied up, or left in a kennel by their owners.
State prosecutor Dave Aronberg had some strong words for those owners that left their pets trapped to die:
‘This is a prime example of animal cruelty. We will find you, and we will prosecute you.’
Many of the animals rescued prior to Irma’s arrival were tied to poles or left outside in pens, authorities explained.
Furthermore, agency director Dianne Suave piled on to that sentiment:’There is absolutely no excuse for doing that.’ Both her and Aronberg have made plans to go after these neglectful owners. Their plan is to file felony charges against anyone that may have left their pet outside, but they won’t be able to accomplish any of that unless they can provide sufficient evidence proving that they can do it. Right now though, they are in need of willing people who can open up their homes and take in any of the dogs that were abandoned.
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Usually when a storm comes along in the area, it is not uncommon for many owners to just drop off their pets at the shelter, but for reasons that one can suspect, news of Irma’s impending destruction really spiked the number of animals abandoned at shelters.
‘It’s always disappointing. Our goal is to keep pets and people together…I feel torn about that at times. But we’re not a boarding facility.’
The ASPCA was hard at work as soon as the wake of Irma’s destruction passed through Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. The organization had rescued or collected at least 600 animals who were left at shelters, or just totally left behind during the storm.
ASPCA Vice President Tim Rickey had this to say about the ordeal:
‘It’s critical for pet owners to consider their animals when preparing for any disaster, and we strongly urge them to always bring their animals with them if they have to evacuate their home. The ASPCA stands ready to assist animals in Hurricane Irma’s path, but the first and best line of defense for a pet will always be a well-prepared owner.’
If you are in the area, and you are feeling like you could really help out, give it a shot. I would always recommend that fellow humans are first in line, but these pets need love and home too.