The Humane Society of the United States and Greenville County Animal Care are relocating South Carolina shelter animals before Hurricane Matthew strikes the Southeast coast. The HSUS’s Animal Rescue team is en route in an animal transport vehicle to move the animals from Charleston Animal Society to the HSUS’ Maryland office, where they will be transferred to HSUS Emergency Placement Partners to make room for pets expected to arrive with residents evacuating coastal areas and will transport pets from Charleston. They will arrive in Maryland this afternoon. At the same time additional HSUS Emergency Placement Partners are transporting animals out of Greenville Animal Care to make room for flood victims.

“We are grateful to be working with the Charleston Animal Society and Greenville County Animal Care to ensure animals will be safely housed during this strong storm,” said Wanda Merling, senior manager of disaster response for the HSUS. “Shelters often experience overcrowding during hurricanes so early preparation is key. We hope residents are taking this threat seriously and are evacuating with their animals to safe ground.”

The HSUS recommends the following tips for pet owners when preparing for a disaster scenario:

  • Start preparing for the emergency early. Make sure pets are wearing collars and updated identification tags in case you get separated. Assemble an emergency kit for you and your pet.
  • If you evacuate, take your pet with you. If your home is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pet.
  • If you decide to stay, take extra precautions. Eliminate or block off unsafe nooks and crannies where frightened animals may hide, remove dangerous items, and keep your pets inside of the house. Listen to the radio if you can to stay abreast of weather and safety updates.

The HSUS provides financial assistance to the EPPs taking in animals to help with initial costs. Here are the names of the EPPs involved in this effort:

  • Dutchess County SPCA in Hyde Park,New York
  • Angels of Assisi in Roanoke, Virginia
  • Hudson Mohawk Humane Society in Menands, New York
  • Animal Care Sanctuary in East Smithfield, Pennsylvania
  • SPCA of Anne Arundel County in Annapolis, Maryland
  • Washington Animal Rescue League-Washington Humane Society in Washington, DC
  • Tri County Animal Shelter in Hughesville, Maryland
  • Humane Society of Washington County in Hagerstown, Maryland

The organization will also be available for assistance upon request in South Carolina following the storm.

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