LARGO, Fla. - With the help of SPCA Tampa Bay, 48 dogs and cats made the journey from the Panhandle to the Bay Area after Hurricane Sally left behind not only destruction but also animals in need of homes.
SPCA Tampa Bay has been busy over the past few days getting the furry arrivals ready for their new homes, and as of Sunday, three of those animals were finally ready to be adopted.
“If there’s destruction in that area, flooding as well, and they have some displaced animals, we work with each other. We will travel up to Tallahassee at the midway point or into them impacted area in order to get those adoptable animals back here to Tampa Bay so we can get them out to their forever homes,” said Eric Keaton with SPCA Tampa Bay.
The team at SPCA Tampa Bay returned Friday with the Panhandle animals, but that trip to Tallahassee was one they’d also made just weeks earlier to pick up rescues needing a home in the wake of Hurricane Laura and Tropical Storm Marco.
“We had about 30 dogs come in from Hurricane Laura, and about a third of them needed extra medical attention. So, we are slowly getting that medical attention to them,” said Keaton. “Some of them required a couple of days in care, some of them a couple of weeks.”
However, once the veterinarians at the shelter give these dogs and cats their stamp of approval, it’s just a matter of time before the crates and kennels are cleared out and these furry hurricane survivors are placed in their new forever home.
“They all will have immunizations, they'll have microchips, they’ll have a behavioral analysis as well,” said Keaton. “SPCA Tampa Bay, that’s our mission. Every animal matters.”
During hurricane season, it’s important to prepare in case disaster strikes, and having a hurricane plan for your family means including your pets in that plan too.
“Make sure you have all their records, make sure that if you have to evacuate you have their food and water, you have their crate, whatever is needed because they are part of the family. Just make sure that your pet is part of that plan,” said Keaton.
It was a long journey for these 48 dogs and cats, but they are now one-stop closer to their forever homes.
Not all of the animals are ready to be adopted just yet, but once the vet clears them, they will be listed on the SPCA Tampa Bay website. An appointment is required to visit. For more information, visit SPCA Tampa Bay.