Florida

Hundreds of Pets Displaced by Hurricane Irma in Need of Shelter

The destruction of Hurricane Irma not only impacted Florida businesses and families, but hundreds of animals across the state suffered, too.

On Friday, Miami-Dade animal services relocated more than 100 dogs and cats seeking refuge post Hurricane Irma to shelters in Oakland, California.

During and after the storm, many pets went missing or were abandoned. The effort of relocating the pre-storm pets to California will help free up space and resources in Miami animal shelters for missing or abandoned animals.

The Miami Heat and FedEx teamed up with Miami-Dade Animal Services for Friday's relocation effort.

"For me as a player and being from here, its only right that I am a part of this and for me this is just one thing I am getting involved in," Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem said.

"Prior to the hurricane, I reached out to commissioner Hardemon just to let him know that once the hurricane is over I am looking to be involved in everything as far as rebuilding and helping the community," he said.

In the Upper Keys, one veterinary hospital— possibly the only animal hospital up and running in Monroe County— is doing what they can to help, but running short on medical supplies.

Early Friday morning, the Plantation Key veterinary hospital began giving away supplies to people who can't get to a grocery store to feed their animals.

Veterinarian Bob Foley said the donations are meant for people who need help feeding their pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

"Cheney Brothers flew in...about 2,000 pounds of dog and cat food and cat litter, which has been truly a blessing," Foley said.

But with access to the Florida Keys still limited, Foley is in need of more medicine and food to help others. He also anticipates more animals— with limited space available.

"Florida Health Department stopped by here yesterday and asked how much space would I have for animals that are abandoned or animals that were owned by people who are now dead," Foley said.

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