The entire state of Florida was holding their breath as category 5 Hurricane Dorian was hanging off the coast, battering the Bahamas. It wasn’t just the people who were in danger, however, many animals were also in danger as well. For the dogs and cats at the no-kill, nonprofit animal shelter Jacksonville Humane Society, however, the storm was not quite so frightening, thanks to some kindhearted people.
As Hurricane Dorian was approaching the East Coast of Florida, the Jacksonville Humane Society posted a picture on Facebook. It showed the staff standing next to empty cages at the shelter. They were giving a thumbs up and raising their arms in celebration. They had reason to celebrate because all of the dogs and cats were placed in foster homes before the storm would have arrived.
“You did it, Jacksonville! Thanks to you, nearly all of our pets will ride out Hurricane Dorian in loving Storm Trooper foster homes. Your response to our call for help was tremendous, and we can’t thank everyone enough for their generosity and support. We feel so incredibly lucky to be a part of such a kind, compassionate community,” Jacksonville Humane Society wrote.
The Storm Troopers foster families were given leashes, collars, and food for the animals. The requirement was that they kept the animals in their homes until the danger of the storm passed on Friday, September 6.
After the animal shelter posted the call for assistance on social media, the foster families stepped up to the plate.
In an earlier Facebook post, the Jacksonville Humane Society wrote: “Our animals would love to ride out Hurricane Dorian in a cozy home like yours instead of at the shelter. We are currently seeking Storm Trooper families to care for our pets until at least Friday, September 6.”
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“Interested families can stop by the JHS Adoption Center at 8464 Beach Blvd. between 10-5 tomorrow, September 1, and between 12-4 on Monday, September 2,” Jacksonville Humane Society continued. “Our team will help you choose a pet that will be a good fit for your home. Dogs, cats, and kittens are available to foster.”
Within a day, people were standing outside of the animal shelter at 8464 Beach Blvd to claim an animal and provide a home for them before Hurricane Dorian could have arrived.
“Good morning, Jacksonville! Once again, we’re overwhelmed by your support. Just check out this line of Storm Troopers waiting to get inside!” Jacksonville Humane Society updated.
According to Lindsay Leyendecker who works for the Jacksonville Humane Society, 70 dogs and 140 cats were fostered, First Coast News reported.
Because it was uncertain if the storm would make landfall and threaten the area of Jacksonville, the Humane Society said they would let people know if more help was needed.
“If further Storm Trooper needs arise tomorrow, we’ll make an announcement on our Facebook page. Any animals who remain at the shelter (for example, those with special medical needs) will be cared for by JHS staff and all measures will be taken to ensure their safety and comfort,” the animal shelter added.
It’s wonderful to see the community in Jacksonville lending a helping hand to those animals that needed assistance. It is fortunate that the hurricane did not have a severe impact on Jacksonville, but the animals were safe, nonetheless.
“We are grateful that we can always count on the compassion of the Jacksonville community,” Jacksonville Humane Society CEO Denise Deisler said in a press release.
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