68 animals displaced by Hurricane Irma land in Geauga County

Posted at 10:45 PM, Sep 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-22 22:45:30-04

Animals displaced by Hurricane Irma in Florida have found a new home in Northeast Ohio. 68 animals arrived at the Geauga Humane Society Friday from Florida.

They arrived in a big, air conditioned box truck from Atlanta, where they were relocated from their original homes throughout Florida. They were driven by a crew from the Louisiana SPCA.

“They were meowing the whole time but besides that we checked on them every two hours and made sure they had what they need,” said Penny Francis, who drove the truck.

“They were already homeless before the storm, so these aren’t cats that were displaced and were looking for families. We felt really strongly that we didn’t want to take cats that were waiting to be reunited with their owners,” said Erin Hawes with the Geauga Humane Society.

Hurricane Irma forced shelters throughout Florida to relocate their animals to emergency shelters elsewhere and make room for the hundreds of pets that were left abandoned or lost during the storm.

“This is the first kind of large scale coordination between shelters and a large cat transport in Northeast Ohio so this is a really cool thing for all of us,” said Hawes.

The animals will now be divided among the Cleveland and Portage APL’s, Geauga and Summit Humane Societies, and the Parma Animal Shelter.

“It’s really cool to see all of us come together as shelters and these guys are going to rest easy knowing that they will find news homes very soon, it’s awesome,” said Hawes.

21 of the 60 cats as well as the 1 dog will stay at Rescue Village until they are adopted. The Cleveland APL, The Humane Society of Summit County, Portage APL, and Parma Animal Shelter will be taking the other 46 cats from this same transport and will make them ready for adoption at the respective locations. (20 will go to Cleveland APL, 15 to The Humane Society of Summit County, 7 to Portage APL, and 4 to Parma Animal Shelter.)

Rescue Village will be waiving all adoption fees on both adult cats and kittens now through Sunday, September 24th in order to make room for the new cats from Florida. They are also calling for donations to help meet the needs of this specific transport including: Purina Dry Cat Chow (blue bag), any brand canned cat food, cat toys, as well as monetary donations.

All animals transported from Florida will receive thorough medical examinations and will be posted on the Geauga Humane Society website with a note that they are from Florida once they are made available for adoption.