Cruel and Criminal to Abandon Animals During Hurricanes

For Immediate Release:
May 3, 2018

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – With National Hurricane Preparedness Week just around the corner—and this year’s hurricane season expected to be worse than usual—animals are in real danger of dying if abandoned during any evacuations that may occur during a storm.

Animals should never be left tied up or confined to crates, pens, or hutches, as they’ll be trapped and unable to flee rising waters. (Please click on the hyperlinks to see photos of dogs who were left outside during past storms.)

People who evacuate and intentionally abandon their animals to drown or starve may be prosecuted. During Hurricane Irma, more than 50 cats and dogs, many whom were left tethered, had to be rescued by animal control officers in Palm Beach County, Florida, and officers in Hernando County, Florida, arrested a woman after she abandoned her dogs before the storm.

PETA’s rescue teams have witnessed firsthand the trauma that animals endure when left behind to face the floodwaters and flying debris of hurricanes, from Katrina to Harvey, during which PETA’s Animal Rescue Team pulled terrified and stranded animals from rooftops, balconies, floating mattresses, shelves, tops of cars, and more. One kitten clung for days to the top of an umbrella. The total number of animals who drowned because they’d been left in crates or pens or chained up in backyards is unknown.

PETA has released a hurricane-preparedness public service announcement. Make plans to ensure the safety of your animal companions long before evacuating. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind