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Animals Being Evacuated From Florida Shelters Are Up For Adoption in Ohio

photo of dog in kennel

About three-dozen pets from Florida are now being offered for adoption in Cleveland after arriving this weekend before Hurricane Irma.

The dogs and cats from West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale were in the path of the storm when they were flown to Columbus. They arrived early yesterday morning at the Cleveland Animal Protective League and are being offered for adoption.

Sharon Harvey of the Cleveland APL says it’s important to note that these are not pets that were separated from their owners due to Irma, but were actually already in shelters in Florida.

“Those shelters were looking to evacuate the animals that were already there, so they could make space to bring in animals that were going to be displaced by the storm. These are not animals that had owners looking for them.

“Certainly the weather is going to be a little bit different here for them, but I think the animals adapt pretty well. For the cats, we recommend indoor homes and same for the dogs. ... We were just doing some double-checking of things and making sure everybody was spayed and neutered.”

The non-profit that transported the animals, Wings of Rescue, estimates about 2 million pets could be in the path of Hurricane Irma, and a number of them may need new homes after the storm is over. The company brought the shipment over the weekend to Cleveland due to what they say is the shelter’s excellent reputation.

Harvey adds that – with interest so high in storm-displaced animals – it’s also a good time to adopt a local animal that may have already been awaiting a new home in Northeast Ohio.

Correction:  The original caption for the photo mistakenly referred to the APL as the Animal Protection League. 

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.