As residents continue to flee North and South Carolina ahead of Hurricane Florence, in many cases leaving behind or surrendering their pets, local shelters are scrambling to find homes for the animals in their care.
On Wednesday, Jewel Horton, manager of the Pender County Animal Shelter in Burgaw, North Carolina warned that due to the surge in animals arriving at the shelter ahead of the storm, some may be euthanized in order to “make space.” The shelter is making every effort to avoid euthanization and is pleading with the community for help.
Organizations like the Humane Society are working diligently to place Pender county shelter animals in homes before the hurricane makes landfall and some local residents have volunteered to take animals with them as they flee the state, coordinating with rescue groups across the country to find homes for the animals they have evacuated.
Though volunteers have been successful in relocating about 30-50 animals so far, those on the ground warn that many more will be in desperate need of help once the storm hits. The goal in the remaining days and hours before the hurricane makes landfall is to evacuate as many animals already living in the shelter in order to make room for those who with nowhere else to go during the storm. The shelter will also need support after the storm passes, as well as throughout the recovery process.
“Things can be replaced, anything can be replaced, but you can never replace a life, whether it’s a person or an animal” Julie Lamacchia, president of the local Burgaw Humane Society said on Wednesday.