FORT MYERS, Fla.—The Humane Society of the United States is on the ground helping animals and communities impacted by the deadly Hurricane Ian.
Responders from the HSUS deployed to Charlotte County, Florida, to assist with rescue calls and community outreach in the days following the storm. Additionally, the HSUS is facilitating the transport of animals who were available for adoption in various Florida shelters prior to the hurricane. Moving animals awaiting adoption out of the region gives those animals a second chance at finding adoptive homes and also increases the capacity of impacted communities to care for the influx of displaced animals following the storm, increasing their likelihood of being reunited with their families. Florida authorities requested that the HSUS provide this support.
Some of the lifesaving efforts the HSUS is facilitating include:
- Operating a distribution center for Charlotte County residents in the parking lot of the Mid County Regional Library. The team is distributing pet food and supplies including pet beds, blankets, leashes, collars, water and food bowls, litter and litter boxes, treats, small animal food and bedding, and feed for cows, horses, goats and chickens. Nearly 1,500 families have come for supplies since Friday, Oct. 7.
- Offering free veterinary services at the same location, as many clinics remain closed. In one day alone, the team saw nearly 250 patients. The most commonly treated conditions at the clinic are injuries, illnesses, ear and skin infections. The clinic is also providing vaccinations, nail trims and deworming.
- Over the weekend, the HSUS and GreaterGood Charities worked together to fly over 150 dogs, cats and guinea pigs who were available for adoption at various Florida shelters prior to the storm making landfall to shelters in the Pacific Northwest.
“Our team literally never stops throughout the day trying to meet the specific needs of each resident and their animals, while physically unloading, carrying and reloading thousands of pounds of food and supplies,” said Kelly Donithan, director of animal disaster response for the Humane Society of the United States. “Many of these people have lost everything. We are hearing stories of loss, resilience and the power of the bond between people and their animals.”
The HSUS is still working on transporting animals out of communities impacted by Hurricane Ian.
- Kirsten Peek