Hurricane relief efforts are still needed for our neighbors to the north, specifically those with paws. Local organizations have been collecting pet supplies and sending them to animal shelters in the Carolinas and surrounding states.
Over the weekend, Beds for All Paws, a volunteer organization based in Clearwater, teamed up with EarthWise Pet Supply Store in Palm Harbor to collect donations. The groups held a supply drive on Saturday, filling a 26-foot moving truck and a cargo transport van. Members from Four Paws International, another advocacy group, drove the trucks to animal shelters that have taken in displaced pets.
Cindi Hughes, founder of Beds for All Paws, said that this was supposed to be a one-time event, but the two local groups have agreed to continue accepting supply donations.
“There’s lots and lots of help still needed,” she said. “There’s thousands of displaced animals that are sitting, waiting to get help.”
Donations can be taken to EarthWise Pet Supply. They don’t yet have an end-date for collections. Hughes said the biggest need are crates, in order to transport pets from one town to another. They also need dog and cat food, cat litter, bedding, towels, leashes and collars.
Hughes was not aware of any local shelters that have taken in animals that were displaced because of the hurricane. But will reach out to see if any need supplies if any animals are transferred to this area.
"In the animal rescue world, everyone tries to work together," she said. "Whever you take donations, they'll try to see that it gets where it's needed."
Nash McCutchen from the Tampa Bay Humane Society said they have not yet received pets because of the hurricane. However, as a partner with the national Humane Society, they are on stand-by and prepared to take in any animals should they need placement.
Some foundations in Florida have sent teams up the Carolinas to evacuate pets. The Bruno Foundation, based in Suwannee County, rescued over 100 animals. They were sent to shelters or homes throughout the state. There are seven still at the Suwannee County Animal Shelter awaiting final placement.