HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Humane Society of the United States rescued more than 100 animals from flooding following Hurricane Florence.
Evacuating residents also dropped off nearly 100 more at the Horry County Animal Care Center.
Kelsey Gilmore-Futeral, the South Carolina state director said many of the calls the Humane Society received are from animal owners needing help.
“The owners are worried their place will flood. Others have left to try to make accommodation for their animals and by the time they return home they realize they can no longer access their home and they need boats and other equipment to get out safely and get the animals out,” Gilmore-Futeral said.
Trained water rescue crews respond to calls with local law enforcement officials.
On Tuesday, crews responded to a call on three cows trapped due to flooding water on Mill Creek Road in Myrtle Beach.
The cows’ owner, Frankie Wood, said he didn’t believe the water would get as high as it did. He said once it started rising, he didn’t have enough time to evacuate all his animals.
“We’ve been trying to get them. We go everything out other than those three cows and they got the peacocks yesterday and we got the turkey over there now so thank goodness everything is going great,” Wood explained.
Wood transported horses a few days earlier and crews assisted in rescuing a peacock on Monday. He said he visited the animals to care for them while waiting for the crews to bring them to safety.
The Human Society of the United States said it can be very dangerous for people to try and save their own animals. It urges people to not go out on their own.
“We just want to educate people that a disaster can really occur anywhere just like these people are seeing that have never had this flooding before so we want to make sure that everyone is still prepared because we are not out of hurricane season yet, so making sure you have your pets' preparedness planned for evacuation together,” Gilmore-Futeral said.
She said more space would be available for strays and rescues if residents made evacuation plans for their pets.
The Horry County Animal Care Center is full but is making room for pets as rescues continue into this week.
Gilmore-Futeral said before the hurricane hit, shelters throughout the county were emptied. Those pets were transported across the country in order to make room for rescued animals.
The county is allowing the animals to stay at the center until owners can retrieve them. If animals are not claimed, they will eventually be put up for adoption at local shelters.
Gilmore-Futeral said the challenge with this hurricane is that the damage is more delayed, so the organization is not getting as much national support than other hurricanes.
Staff from other Humane Society chapters across the company have assisted county crews, including a rescue team from San Diego.
If you are concerned for the safety of an animal, call 911 or contact Horry County Animal Control.
If you are missing a pet, Gilmore –Futeral said you should call county and local shelters.