If you are a pet owner and you left your animal chained up during Hurricane Irma, guess what? You could be facing some fairly severe charges as a result of your negligent behavior.
Sadly, at least 50 dogs were found still chained to cars and trees when rescuers arrived on the scene when Hurricane Irma made landfall. Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control received numerous calls alerting them to this unfortunate situation.
BREAKING UPDATE: Animal Control says they will rescue several dogs left alone during #HurricaneIrma. WFLA Melissa Marino is live with the update. http://bit.ly/2wVBLuA
Posted by WFLA News Channel 8 on Monday, September 11, 2017
The officers who arrived on the scene say that they have already rescued over 40 dogs in two days alone. Many of the dogs were left to fend for themselves inside of homes and others were found chained up in pens that they could not escape from. There is zero excuse for this type of behavior and we are glad to see that the authorities are taking a serious stand about this.
No animal deserves to be left tied up during a storm of any kind, let alone a hurricane. It is illegal in this county of Florida to leave dogs chained up without access to their owners. Considering the circumstances, the owners who are found guilty of this behavior will have be susceptible to felony animal abuse charges. State prosecutors are vowing to track any and all owners responsible for this disgusting behavior.
Animal shelters are now experiencing extreme overcrowding as a result of this mass abandonment. There are a sizable number of dogs who have been rescued from the storm’s aftermath and there are also several dogs who were brought to the shelter in advance of the storm, because their owners did not have the means to offer them a proper evacuation.
Dog owners are now being asked to stop to consider their actions and while there are a number of useful organizations who are willing to assist those who need help, there is no substitute for a well informed pet owner who is ready to do the right thing from the very beginning. If you cannot provide a pet with the proper evacuation, then you are not someone who deserves to own a dog, sorry to say.
The people who put themselves ahead of their pets and left them to die in the storm will soon be forced to face the music. It is time to make an example of these scofflaw types and we fully support the efforts of Florida prosecutors to make sure that they are brought to justice.