Grand Strand welcomes four-legged hurricane evacuees

Grand Strand welcomes four-legged hurricane evacuees

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Four-legged Hurricane Irma survivors are waiting for their forever homes at Grand Strand Humane Society.  The dogs and cats arrived over the weekend.

"We are very fortunate to have some great relationships with many shelters and rescue partners.  These particular animals came through a partnership with the ASPCA.  We are emergency placement partners with them...and they kind of did all the logistics on this one.  But again, we have been working, and doing things like this with partners for a while so it was pretty easy for us," Grand Strand Humane Society executive director Suzanne Roman told WMBF News.

Roman said 67 GSHS dogs and cats were sent to New Jersey shelters to make room for the Irma evacuees.  She explained when emergency situations happen, like a hurricane, shelters have a protocol to safely get their animals out of harms way.  "Twelve of the dogs were adopted Sunday," Roman said.

None of the animals were surrendered because of the hurricane, she said.  All the dogs and cats have updated vaccinations and were on Miami adoptions floors before Hurricane Irma.

The Irma arrivals were announced via GSHS Facebook page. "We definitely see a positive response from our community when we reach out to them with different things, especially things like this because we feel like people really do want to help.  We have been in hurricane situations here before, so people understand what it's all about.  So I really think people do want to help and give a family to these animals."

Roman said as the cages empty with dog adoptions, people were asking about getting in more small dogs.

"If all goes well, we'll be having some more small dogs coming in.  We know our community has been looking for small dogs because every single one of the ones we took from the hurricane were adopted the first day.  But, we won't know until mid-week if that's going to happen for sure," Roman said.  WMBF News will let you know if more evacuee dogs are expected this week.

Roman said there isn't a need to add to the area's cat population, so more dogs were taken in.  She explained it's been a very busy year with adoptions, and a high cat intake.

When it comes to hurricanes hitting the Grand Strand, Roman said to never leave your pets behind.  She said to always have a plan ahead of time, and to research now what your options are to keep them safe.

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