For Immediate Release:
September 12, 2018
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – As Hurricane Florence approaches—and we at PETA are under a mandatory evacuation from our Norfolk headquarters—animals could die if abandoned during any evacuations that may occur. A recent survey revealed that 91 percent of animal guardians are not prepared for a natural disaster, so a mention of this 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 cats and dogs were rescued from tethers by animal control officers in Palm Beach County, Florida, 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 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 had been left in crates or chained/penned 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 PETA.org.