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Animal Cruelty

Hundreds of Abandoned Pets in Florida, Including Dogs Tethered to Trees, Rescued from Hurricane Irma

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Dogs left in pens and parked cars, and even dogs chained up or tethered to trees, have been among the hundreds of abandoned animals rescued by Palm Beach County Animal Care in the lead-up to and wake of Hurricane Irma.

According to WPTV, Palm Beach County Animal Care has fielded dozens of calls from concerned neighbors saying some owners evacuated the area but left their family pets behind in the most dire of circumstances. Although 42 dogs were surrendered to the shelter, 23 dogs were left behind at a mobile home park. In all, 26 dogs were rescued from The Glades area near Lake Okeechobee, reports UPI.com. Two cats were also rescued by the shelter.

“They are left in a yard, in a pen they cannot escape from or tethered to trees or poles,” said Diane Sauve, head of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, to WPTV.

It’s illegal in Palm Beach County to leave a dog tethered or chained up if you’re not present, and during extreme weather conditions such as Hurricane Irma, it’s felony animal cruelty.

PBACC, along with the State Attorney’s Office, is working to prosecute people who leave pets behind in such a cruel fashion. In the meantime, staff are rescuing these animals, but need foster and adoption help, as the facility already houses more than 100 pets.

PBACC asks any other rescue organizations or private shelters in the area to help if they can.