Hurricane Irma: Animal Care to house evacuated shelter animals from Fla., Carolina coasts

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Greenville County Animal Care is lending a helping hand to the shelter dogs and cats in the path of Hurricane Irma.

At approximately 11 a.m. on Friday, a plane from Charleston is bringing in evacuated shelter animals from the Florida and Carolina coasts to Greenville. The animals will then be transported to the Greenville County Animal Care campus.

All dogs and cats arriving to the shelter are “documented, healthy, and adoptable,” according to a release from Bob Mihalic, Greenville County government affairs coordinator.

About 30 to 40 cats and dogs are expected to arrive on the initial flight from Charleston, Mihalic told the Greenville Journal.

Although the flight is coming from Charleston, it doesn’t necessarily mean the animals arriving in Greenville are from the Lowcountry. Some may have already been transported from the Florida coast to Charleston.

“This is just the beginning of it. With Florida about to be inundated, there’s a system set up that they’re moving pets out,” Mihalic said. “We’re kind of moving them north, if you will.”

As pets are adopted from Greenville County Animal Care, the facility will have an opportunity to take in more evacuated animals. If necessary, rescue groups from other areas will transport the animals at Animal Care to different facilities.

“It’s a giant chain of rescue that happens when events like this happen, and we’re part of that chain,” Michalic told the Journal. “It’s a beginning of the process that’ll be happening a lot the next week or so.”

Animal Care will open at noon on Friday, and the shelter is hosting a free adoption event beginning at 3 p.m. All pet adoptions will be free from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Citizens can truly make a difference in Irma support by adopting a cat or dog from Animal Care — giving that pet a loving home — and creating more room in the shelter for additional animals,” Mihalic said. 

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