Urgent! Cruel and Criminal to Willfully Abandon Animals During Tropical Storm

For Immediate Release:
October 6, 2017

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Biloxi, Miss. – With Tropical Storm Nate expected to make landfall late Saturday night into Sunday morning as a hurricane, animals will die badly if abandoned during any evacuations that may occur.

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.

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 animal cruelty 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 or penned in backyards is unknown.

PETA’s hurricane-preparedness public service announcement will remind families to make plans to ensure the safety of their animal companions long before evacuating. 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