Urgent! Cruel—and Criminal—to Abandon Animals During Hurricane

For Immediate Release:
August 29, 2019

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Miami – As Hurricane Dorian approaches and because a state of emergency has been declared, animals could die if abandoned during any evacuations that may occur. A recent survey revealed that 91% of animal guardians are not prepared for a natural disaster.

Animals should never be left tied up or confined to crates, pens, or hutches, as they will 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.)

Anyone who evacuates and intentionally abandons their animals to drown or starve may be prosecuted. During Hurricane Irma, more than 50 tethered cats and dogs were rescued by animal control officers in Palm Beach County, and authorities announced that they will pursue felony cruelty charges against anyone found to have left their animals behind to die in that state.

PETA’s Animal Rescue Team has witnessed firsthand the trauma that animals endure when left behind to face the floodwaters and flying debris caused by hurricanes. During Katrina and Harvey, the team pulled terrified and stranded animals from rooftops, balconies, floating mattresses, shelves, the tops of cars, and other places. One kitten had clung for days to the top of an umbrella! The total number of animals who drowned because they had been left in crates or had been chained up or penned in backyards is unknown.

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

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

 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