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People Who Abandoned Pets During Hurricane Irma Could Face Felony Charges

| Published on September 11, 2017

Despite the emergence of more and more pet-friendly shelters, attempts at preparation, and public service announcements, it never fails: with every natural disaster there’s an influx of surrendered and abandoned pets.

Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control in Florida rescued around 40 pets before Hurricane Irma swept the area, and according to USA Today, “some were tied up, others were in pens or in enclosed yards, unable to escape.”

Thanks to rescuers, these animals were brought to safety, but it doesn’t mean their owners will be let off the hook without consequence; agency director Dianne Sauve told USA Today that they’d pursue felony charges if they could track down the abandon animals’ owners.

Heartbroken that humans could put animals in such danger, she said in the story, “There is absolutely no excuse for doing that.”

In addition to the abandoned pets that they rescued, the Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control has also taken 40 surrendered pets into their care. While she explained that this often happens just before storms hit, they got more animals than they had anticipated.

The article explains that giving up your pet means giving up ownership and the right to adopt it back.

“I feel torn about that at times,” Suave admitted in the story, “but we’re not a boarding facility.”

“These are things that are not unexpected during a situation like this,” she said. “It’s always disappointing. Our goal is to keep pets and people together.”

We are so grateful that organizations like these give innocent animals a second chance. What’s more, we’re glad that they’re willing to pursue charges for abandoners and hope that justice is served!

We also want to point out all the dedicated people who stayed with their animals or made arrangements to evacuate with them. This shows the true love that comes with being a responsible pet parent.

If you have been thinking about adding a companion to your family, consider adopting a pet that was displaced by one of the recent hurricanes. Even if you don’t live in an area that was affected, lots of pets have been transported to other shelters across the country. Find out if there are any hurricane survivors in need of homes at a shelter near you!

(h/t: USA Today)

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