Flood waters and hurricane winds did not prevent some pet owners from abandoning their animals outside during Hurricane Irma. In some cases the pets were found tied to trees, poles or cars. Some pets were left in yards, confined in kennels from which they could not escape.
Palm Beach County Animal Care and the State Attorney’s Office say they are dedicated to finding those owners and charging them with felony animal abuse.
“This is a prime example of animal cruelty,” said Dave Aronberg, the state prosecutor for Palm Beach County. “We will find you, and we will prosecute you.”
On September 9th, as Irma gained momentum, Palm Beach County Animal Care officers had rescued at least 49 dogs and two cats, ABC Action News reports.
They were urging citizens to consider sheltering any abandoned animals they noticed outside, as their officers would no longer be permitted to rescue animals after the winds reached a sustained 35 mph.
In addition to animals rescued by officers, Palm Beach County animal control received many surrendered pets whose owners could not evacuate with them.
The facility is now full with more than 100 animals. PCS animal control has waived adoption fees for the animals to make them easier to adopt. They are also collecting donations of leashes, animal carriers and collars.