Animal rescue organizations are working to get some shelter animals out of areas likely to be hit by Hurricane Dorian.
The Humane Society of the United States is coordinating a multi-state effort to relocate pets away from communities along the East Coast. Shelters tend to see an influx of lost animals following a hurricane. By moving shelter occupants to other areas, advocates hope to make room for those that are newly dislocated, and make it easier for owners to reclaim them.
HURRICANE #DORIAN UPDATE: We're helping to move shelter animals away from high-risk areas and preparing to respond when needed.
Coastal areas in both Georgia and South Carolina are under evacuation orders, as well as a number of counties in Florida. pic.twitter.com/bU83wgj7ud
— The Humane Society of the United States (@HumaneSociety) September 2, 2019
"If (pets) are displaced because of the storm, their local shelter is where their owners will be pointed to and that's where they would logically go to hopefully find their pet," said Darci VanderSlik, spokeswoman for the S.P.C.A of Wake County, one of the organizations participating in the relocation effort.
She says the group is taking in roughly 50 cats and dogs from North and South Carolina. Nine dogs have already arrived in Wake County. Another 20 dogs and 20 cats will be flown in from other areas before the hurricane arrives.
"The pets that we're taking right now, these guys were not owned, they were available for adoption at their shelters along coastal communities, and we're going to go ahead and try to find them homes in the Triangle area," said VanderSlik.
Along the coast, where Dorian is likely to have the greatest impact, workers at the Outer Banks SPCA are asking area residents who may be evacuating to take a shelter animal with them. The shelter is calling for temporary fosters to help get animals out of the flood-prone facility before Wednesday morning.