35 pets arrive safely in downtown Chicago from hurricane-ravaged Florida

Volunteers cheered as Princess made her manner off the bus wagging her tail.

She smiled as two of the volunteers stroked her head and an worker with the Anti-Cruelty Society slipped a collar on her neck.

Princess, the primary off the bus, was certainly one of 15 canines that made the journey north from the Furry Friends Adoption shelter in Jupiter, Florida to make space for displaced and lost pets after Hurricane Ian.

The Florida shelter additionally despatched 20 cats alongside for the journey to the Anti-Cruelty Society headquarters, 510 N. LaSalle St., together with Aspen, who has grey fur and massive, shiny eyes.

Hurricane Ian flooded a lot of southwest Florida with heavy storm surges Wednesday earlier than making landfall as a Category 4 storm that evening. As the storm made its option to South Carolina over the weekend, the death toll reached 35 people, 28 of them in Florida, The Associated Press reported.

Cats are carried in cages as workers and volunteers at Anti-Cruelty Society unload adoptable dogs and cats from a bus traveling in from Furry Friends shelter in Jupiter, Florida.

In Chicago and throughout the Midwest, individuals are stepping up in assist of these affected as recovery continues.

Part of that assist was Anti-Cruelty Society’s willingness to take in shelter animals.

After every canine had been taken inside the ability, the group of about 15 volunteers went again out to the alley the place the bus was parked and began taking the cats inside.

Some of the kittens shared a kennel. One bigger, timid cat, sat as far-off from the kennel door as doable, whereas a small black kitten who shared a kennel meowed and swiped his paw at anybody who approached.

The bus left Furry Friends round 5 p.m. Friday and arrived at Anti-Cruelty Society simply earlier than 4 p.m., stopping just for gasoline or at relaxation stops to take the canines out for a break, mentioned Kirsten Tourville, director of habits and coaching at Furry Friends.

Furry Friends’ administration reached out to Anti-Cruelty Society a couple of week in the past to ask if they may ship up some pets and unlock their kennels, mentioned Darlene Duggan, chief operations officer at Anti-Cruelty. Once they knew Hurricane Ian was turning right into a devastating storm, they agreed to take in the 35 animals, Duggan mentioned.

“(Furry Friends) rallied and tried to get here before the storm hit, but we’re unable to get, so to speak, all of the animals onto the bus quick enough,” Duggan mentioned. “So they rode out the storm back in Florida and then as soon as things settled down with the weather they left to come up.”

Duggan mentioned animal welfare employees realized vital classes after Hurricane Katrina greater than 15 years in the past. Instead of relocating animals after a catastrophe hits, shelters began relocating already relinquished animals in order to make room for pets displaced by a pure catastrophe or pets which may want non permanent shelter whereas their household offers with the results of a storm.

“It happens often, actually, anytime there are natural disasters, whether it’s hurricanes or flooding or wildfires,” Duggan mentioned. “Since I’ve been in animal welfare, it seems to have picked up speed within the past 10 years or so.”

Vet tech Alex Zegarra and Anti-Cruelty Society medical director Emily Swiniarski complete a well being check up on Joe the dog as animals arrived in Chicago from a bus traveling in from Furry Friends shelter in Jupiter, Florida.

Once all of the animals had been taken off the bus they had been taken one after the other to a group of veterinarians for a fundamental checkup. The animals had been already spayed or neutered and prepared for adoption in Florida earlier than their nearly 24-hour journey to Chicago.

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Lucy, a playful 5-month-old canine, was final in line to see the vet. As Anti-Cruelty employees seemed for an open kennel for her, she performed with one of many veterinarians, licking and biting his beard and leaning in for stomach rubs, smiling.

Most of the brand new animals can be prepared for adoption “almost immediately,” Duggan mentioned. But first, they are going to spend 24 hours in a holding room.

“This was a stressful 24 hours for them being in a vehicle. You know, their normal feeding routine and potty break routine was disrupted,” she mentioned. “So we’ll give them about a day.”

Volunteer Georgia Libbares waits with a dog at Anti-Cruelty Society as adoptable dogs and cats are unloaded from a bus traveling in from Furry Friends shelter in Jupiter, Florida.

Some of the animals will go to foster properties and can be out there for adoption from their foster residence. And a number of can be taken to accomplice shelters in Chicago suburbs.

Tourville mentioned she was grateful Anti-Cruelty accepted the canines, permitting Furry Friends to assist these in cities affected by the hurricane.

Duggan joked she hopes the animals get pleasure from their first Chicago winter, possible by no means having skilled snow.

“In reality, our hope for them is the same for all of the animals that come into the care of the Anti-Cruelty Society,” Duggan mentioned. “And that is just a warm, loving, engaged home that they can spend the rest of their lives with.”

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