Treasure Coast shelter boards first responders' pets during storm

- First responders, medical workers, animal service workers and citizens unable to take pets during evacuations found great relief when the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast offered to board their pets for free during Hurricane Matthew.

HSTC said it was caring for nearly 100 extra animals during the storm, many of which were brought for temporary care by law enforcement officers, nurses, fire fighters and others working through the storm.

"We have a municipal contract with our county so we work closely with animal services. And since animal services is a branch of the sheriffs office, it all just made sense!" explained HSTC employee Reagan, who stayed overnight Thursday with the shelter's temporary guests.

She said HSTC was also able to provide a safe place for furry friends of any Martin County resident forced to evacuate without their pet. 

Reagan said there were many cats and dogs brought for a temporary stay, but also hamsters, guinea pigs, snakes and birds waited out the storm together.

"We have had a lot of first responders bring their pets," Reagan said. "Our county's bravest have their work cut out for them."

Most pet owners brought crates and carriers, food, water and comfort items for their pets, but members of the community also showed up with donations.

Pet owners would be allowed to come pick their animals up after they receive the "all clear" from EOC. 

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