Urgent! Cruel and Criminal to Willfully Abandon Animals During Hurricane

For Immediate Release:
September 19, 2017

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Newport County, R.I. – As Hurricane Jose approaches, please include in your coverage of dangerous conditions the fact that animals will die badly if abandoned during any evacuations that may occur. Mentioning this will undoubtedly save many animals and spare much human remorse.

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 were rescued from tethers by animal control officers in Palm Beach County, Florida, and authorities announced that they’ll pursue felony cruelty-to-animals charges against anyone found to have left 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 or penned in backyards is unknown.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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