For Immediate Release:
August 30, 2019
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Florida – 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, so mentioning this information will undoubtedly save many animals’ lives and spare much human remorse.
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-to-animals 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 their animal companions long before evacuating. For more information, please visit PETA.org.