More than one million people fled Texas and Florida before Hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck earlier this month. Sadly, many of those people left their beloved pets behind to weather the storm on their own. Some poor pups were even left tied to a chain outside! During natural disasters like these, animal welfare is often placed on the backburner -- not just for pets, but for zoo animals as well. But there's always a silver lining, even in hurricane clouds. Here are the top inspiring pet stories from these two hurricanes.
This poor pup clung to the railing for dear life as the floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey surrounded her. Thankfully, two superheroes -- wearing trash bags as ponchos, no less -- rescued her. Now, she's safe and sound, thanks to two brave people who put themselves in danger to ensure her safety.
Although Irma put Miami underwater, not one single animal at Zoo Miami lost their life! When Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, many animals at Zoo Miami were killed or injured. So the zoo strengthened the animals' enclosures -- and it looks like their hard work paid off. One of the Irma survivors at Zoo Miami is a gorgeous black rhino named Toshi. She also survived Hurricanes Andrew, Wilma, and Katrina! Check her out!
Abandonment becomes a crime
Florida residents who left their pets behind while fleeing Hurricane Irma will face felony charges. The Palm Beach County Animal Control and Care stated they would press charges against pet owners, so long as there was sufficient evidence against them and they could identify them. The agency took in more than 80 pets over the course of Hurricane Irma. Approximately half of those were rescued. The other half were left at the facility by their owners, some of whom came back afterward to try to reclaim them! When someone gives up their pet to an animal control facility, they forfeit their ownership. Animal control isn't a daycare or a boarding service. They won't watch over dogs while the storm hits and give them back once it passes. True pet owners don't give up their pets when the weather gets rough! We're glad Palm Beach County Animal control has taken a firm stance on this issue.
Hell and high water
Three horses were rescued from neck-deep water caused by Hurricane Harvey. Watch the video Chance Ward and his teenage son can be seen freeing one of their horses from its enclosure and leading it to safety. Ward, who clearly has a sense of humor, jokes throughout the video: 'We've been having to handle them pretty rougher than we like, but the good thing is he can't kick you!'
Here at FriendshipCollar, we love all animals, not just cats and dogs. Although many were left abandoned and forgotten, plenty were saved by compassionate, heroic people who jeopardized their own safety to ensure their animals were okay. We need more people like them in the world! Our love and friendship go out to those affected by these catastrophic hurricanes. If you live in an area affected by these hurricanes and are looking for a new furry family member, adopt, don't shop!
Love and friendship x