Hurricane Irma hit Florida on September 10 right after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Many fled their homes leaving their pets behind to fend for themselves. In Palm Beach County, some might be in trouble with regards to animal cruelty charges.
An NBC News affiliate have reported that people who left their pets chained up as they left town to flee Irma could be prosecuted for felony animal cruelty. The county received dozens of reports of dogs chained to trees or left in parked cars by owners who were absent in the wake of the hurricane. Animal Care and Control officials said leaving a dog tied up alone is already illegal in the region, but with the added danger of the hurricane, the act qualifies as a felony.
Shelters took in more than 40 pets who were surrendered by their owners as the storm approached. Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control director Dianne Sauve has said that those that put their pets up for adoption will not be able to claim their pets back after the hurricane, however.
The Washington Post reported that a similar situation occurred when Hurricane Harvey hit. More than 1,000 pets were displaced. Some have been transported to different states for medical care and are now being adopted out. Last week a plane filled with 30 dogs and 70 cats landed in Massachusetts, where they went to a shelter for medical care, and ultimately, adoption.