GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A collection of organizations throughout the United States are working to move out Florida’s sheltered pets in light of Hurricane Ian’s impact throughout the state.
Kim Alboum, director of shelter outreach and policy development for the BISSELL Pet Foundation, said the nonprofit is working with partners like the national animal disaster response organization Code 3 Associates and the Greater Birmingham Humane Society to bring pets out of affected areas in Florida and into the arms of rescue partners and shelter throughout the country.
“What people can do right now to help in a situation like this is, they can adopt, they can go out there and they can adopt pets,” Alboum said. “Because no matter where you are if you're taking an animal from the shelter that's making space for another animal in that shelter, and in times like this -- when there's a major disaster in our country, pets will actually be dispersed throughout the country.”
The efforts come at a time when shelters across the U.S. are hindered by record-low staffing, Alboum said, adding that Hurricane Ian only exacerbated the problem.
“Florida shelters were already full,” she said. “Our goal is to move pets out of Florida to our partners, but at the same time, not overburdening the shelters that we're moving the pets to.”
The move comes just days before BISSELL’s “Empty the Shelters” adoption event on Oct. 1. As a result of Ian, the nonprofit will be extending their normally one-week event by an additional seven days.
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