Hurricane Ian Response: ASPCA Assists Animals Impacted by Storm

UPDATE: Following our evacuation efforts, we are currently on the ground in Lee County, Florida, to support animal search and rescue operations as we work with shelters across the impacted area to identify critical needs.

The ASPCA is on the ground in Florida, assisting with the evacuation of more than 50 homeless cats and kittens in the path of Hurricane Ian. The shelter animals are being relocated at the request of Lee County Domestic Animal Services in Fort Myers and Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center in Tampa as they work to evacuate animals from their shelters ahead of the storm making landfall. We are transporting these animals out of harm’s way to Boston-area shelters including Massachusetts SPCA, Second Chance Animal Services and the Animal Rescue League of Boston. All of the animals transported out of impacted communities in advance of the storm are unowned and will be made available for adoption in the coming weeks.

Hurricane Ian is expected to strengthen to a Category 4 storm bringing heavy rainfall, storm surge and high winds throughout the next several days as it quickly approaches Florida’s Gulf Coast. Our disaster response team is in communication with local and state emergency response agencies and stands ready to assist displaced animals and pet owners upon request. At this time, we are strongly urging residents to incorporate their pets into preparedness and evacuation plans.

“As Hurricane Ian continues to intensify, we are reminding pet owners in impacted communities the importance of including pets in all disaster preparedness plans, especially those involving a potential evacuation,” said Susan Anderson, Director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA National Field Response Team. “We commend the local animal welfare organizations for quickly identifying the need to evacuate these animals out of the storm’s path as well as our Massachusetts-based partners for opening their doors to bring these cats to safety.”

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