Many people find it difficult enough to get themselves and their family evacuated when a hurricane is headed their way. Add to the stress that they may have pets and often times they simply have no idea what to do with them, opting to leave them behind. Guardians of Rescue are now on the ground working nonstop in Wilmington, North Carolina and surrounding areas to help rescue the many animals that were left behind. The rescue group is assisting the Pender County Humane Society. The city has been hard hit by the hurricane and is now completely cut off as all roads leading into it have been flooded.
“We’ve helped rescue animals in many hurricanes, but this one has to be one of the worst hurricanes to get access to the animals in need,” explains Robert Misseri, president of Guardians of Rescue, an animal rescue organization. “So many animals were left behind. We are getting calls about dogs left in kennels in backyards that are completely flooded, cats on rooftops, and horses in flooded fields etc.”
Many animals have already been rescued with many more still waiting to be. The rescue group has been getting many phone calls from people who have left behind animals or who have seen animals in dire situations in need of help. Road closures all around the area are making it extremely challenging and dangerous to reach the animals in need, but the group continues on, making as many rescues as possible. Guardians of Rescue are asking the public to assist in the rescue efforts to help make the mission a success. They need financial assistance, volunteers, pet food, and medicine.
It’s important that those with pets know what to do if a hurricane were to become a threat. Here are some tips pre and post hurricane situations to keep in mind:
- Have a plan in place. Important to have a plan so you know what you will do if a hurricane becomes an issue. Be sure that you know where local shelters are that will accept pets, locate pet-friendly hotels and boarding houses outside of your evacuation area, or have a list of friends or family outside the area who you could call on for assistance.
- Get your pet microchipped. If your pet were to become lost from you during a hurricane it’s important that you have them microchipped so they can be reunited after the storm is over. Those with large animals, such as horses or livestock, should make sure they all have identification, evacuate the animals whenever possible, and ensure they have food and water if they must be left behind.
- Have an emergency kit. Your emergency kit should have any medication your pet needs, food, water, a leash, sanitation items (litter box, trash bags, etc.) and a carrier. Also, have a picture of your pet in the kit so that if you become separated you can use it to help locate them again.
- Leaving them behind. While for many people it is unfathomable to leave a pet behind during a hurricane, some people feel they have no choice but to do so. If you feel you have no other option than to leave your pet behind, do not confine them to a room or crate. Let them have the ability to move about so they can try to seek out safety, and be sure to leave plenty of food and water.
“What we are seeing out here is nothing short of heartbreaking,” adds Misseri. “We are doing everything we can to help these animals who are in desperate need of being rescued. We need the help of the public to provide the support that is needed to make this mission a success. It’s something we can’t do alone.”
Guardians of Rescue has a goal of raising $80,000 to help with the animal rescue from Hurricane Florence. If every person reading this donates just $5 it will be easy to reach that goal. Those wanting to help support their efforts can log online to make a donation: https://