Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Abandoned during Hurricane Irma, four dogs and cat seek new life in Williamsburg

Four dogs and a cat that survived Hurricane Irma in Florida last month are looking for new homes in the Williamsburg area.

Heritage Humane Society took in the animals from Florida Saturday, according to a humane society news release. The five animals were abandoned by their owners before Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida and rode out the storm on their own.

Some of the dogs were left leashed to trees by their owners.

“These are companion animals,” said Darci VanderSlik, marketing manager for Heritage Humane Society. “They want to be with you but they’re so scared.”

Hurricane Irma made landfall in Cudjoe Key, Fla. on Sept. 10 as a Category 4 hurricane, causing high winds and flooding, according to the National Weather Service. The hurricane decreased to a Category 2 by the time it reached inland Florida.

Heritage Humane staff are assisting with the dogs, which may be under significant stress and trauma from their survival experience during the storm, according to the release.

The dogs are a variety of small breeds, including poodles and a Chihuahua.  The cat, named Magdalena, is a domestic shorthair mix.

“We’ve had a lot of interest in the dogs,” VanderSlik said. “The only catch is we only have four dogs [from Florida]…if they really want to help, any dog adopted from here is a life saved.”

Once the dogs are medically and behaviorally vetted by Heritage Humane staff, they will be available for adoption. VanderSlik said that will likely be in about two weeks.

The four dogs are being kept away from the other dogs in Heritage’s care as a precautionary measure, as they may have respiratory infections after being left outside during the powerful storm, Vanderslik said.

Those interested in adopting one of the dogs can email to be added to a contact list for when the animals are ready to be adopted.

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