ACO officer Adam Daytz made the brave decision to stay in the Florida Keys through Hurricane Irma. When he received communication about a dog left during the storm, he quickly jumped into action.
The dog was emaciated and in distress from dehydration. Officer Daytz reported to her location, found Lorna, and took her from the situation she was left to endure alone. They headed to the Florida Keys SPCA (FKSPCA), where he could get her the help she needed.
In the days to come, the FKSPCA would learn that Lorna’s owners evacuated the keys and abandoned 13-year-old Lorna to fend for herself. Irma had taken a lot from Lorna, but one thing Irma couldn’t take from her was hope.
Today Lorna is safe with the FKSPCA team and waiting for her forever family. If you or someone you know is interested in adopting Lorna or others like her, visit the FKSPCA’s list adoptable dogs.
“She is happy! She has a full belly, plays in the sun, has daily walks with volunteers and staff who love her and has a warm snuggly bed to sleep in each night. All she needs now is a permanent family to call her own and to be the Queen we see in her each day.” – Florida Keys SPCA
The grant provided by GreaterGood.org enabled the FKSPCA to provide Lorna critical medical care saving her life. That same grant also enabled the FKSPCA to focus on recovery efforts immediately rather than having to raise the funds necessary prior to recovery, saving valuable time.
“Our lifesaving mission depends on our ability to respond to animals in distress while also providing medical care and supplies for animals in need.” – Florida Keys SPCA
In the days following Irma, team members of the FKSPCA were displaced and spread out over five states. Only two board members and three staff remained in the Keys during Irma. They had no way to contact each other to determine the state of the facilities or the immediate need of the community and the animals they serve.
“GreaterGood.org reached out to us and began to provide not only support by way of this generous grant but also support with connecting with the families that fostered 197 of our animals’ safety prior to the storm.” – Florida Keys SPCA
The grant enabled them to put resources in place so they could get the facilities up and running as soon as possible, in order to care for the animals that were abandoned during the storm or belonging to individuals that stayed in the keys during Irma. These resources include food, repair of the facilities, medical care, and supplies. Both facilities sustained damage from the strong winds and flooding, including damage to the roof at both locations and damage to the animal housing areas. It also completely destroyed the perimeter and play yard fencing and their general storage. The team was able to get both facilities up and running within 10 days post-Irma.
In the weeks following Irma, the FKSPCA implemented free routine and medical care clinics for animals belonging to individuals affected by Irma. These clinics continue to provide care for the animals in an effort to keep them in their home, with their families, as opposed to being surrendered due to financial constraints of the pet owner. The FKSPCA recognizes that it will take months and in some cases years for the communities to fully recover from the destruction caused by hurricane Irma. That’s why they are doing everything they can to help ease the burden.
“In order to assist our pet owners with the medical needs of their pets during this time, we have established a free routine and medical care clinic in partnership with Dr. Berdugo in order to keep animals in the home as opposed to surrender. These clinics are a crucial component to our lifesaving mission and to our recovery efforts.” – Florida Keys SPCA
To date, Dr. Berdugo and the FKSPCA have assisted over 50 pet owners with the medical needs of their pets. One example is that of Mr. Cruz. Irma left Mr. Cruz, and his five dogs, without a place to live. Although he found somewhere to stay with friends, he was financially constrained and could not provide care for his dogs. The FKSPCA was able to help Mr. Cruz with food, and through the established free clinic they were able to provide much needed medical care for all five dogs.
“The free clinics in partnership with Dr. Berdugo will continue to provide free medical care for resident pet owners affected by hurricane Irma.” – Florida Keys SPCA
Thanks to the hard work of the FKSPCA staff and volunteers, Dr. Berdugo and the financial assistance from GreaterGood.org, animals that were directly affected by hurricane Irma will continue to benefit while the communities work to fully recover.
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