Bay Area Rescues Receive Animal Evacuees From Hurricane Irma’s Path Dogs and Cats From Florida Rescue Will Soon Be Ready for Local Adoption

We, along with partners from the East Bay SPCA and Berkeley Humane received a cross-country flight filled with animals evacuated from the Humane Society of Broward County today. The approximately 150 dogs and cats were previously up for adoption at the Ft. Lauderdale facility, which currently sits in the projected path of Hurricane Irma. “We received a call from our rescue partner in Florida early Tuesday when it became clear that this massive storm could cause catastrophic damage to their area,” said Elena Bicker, our executive director. “By clearing shelter space, they can better respond to recovery efforts and focus on reuniting any local owners and pets who may be displaced by the storm.” Bicker said the recent destruction left by Hurricane Harvey in Houston presents a reminder of how quickly emergency situations can tax animal shelters. She noted that previous storms to the Southern Florida area left the Broward County rescue without electricity and water service for several days. 

“Our goal now is to find these ‘bicoastal’ dogs and cats loving and safe homes here in the Bay Area,” Bicker said. “In the end, we’re not only rescuing these animals’ from the path of a destructive storm, but also freeing up space and resources in their local area so more animals receive help during a time of crisis.” Those looking to help in this situation may do so by adopting or fostering an animal or contributing to assist with transport, care and placement costs at arflife.org/help/irma. We are also accepting gifts of much needed items, such as large dog carriers, blankets and towels at our Walnut Creek facility, located at 2890 Mitchell Drive. All adoption fees are waived for the next week. The dogs and cats were evacuated on a Wings of Rescue flight funded by our Walnut Creek-based animal rescue foundation and freekibble and GreaterGood.org. 

“It’s amazing how quickly and efficiently these operations come together when you have multiple partners all with the best interests of the animals in mind,” Bicker said. Hurricane Irma Animal Evacuation Partners ARF’s core mission is the rescue of dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters, giving them a chance at life until a new home can be found. We couple this focus with innovative programs strengthening the human-animal bond for children, seniors, veterans, and people in disadvantaged circumstances. Through our animal rescue foundation, people experience the unconditional love and acceptance of dogs and cats to fulfill a mission of “People Rescuing Animals…Animals Rescuing People…”® To donate, please visit: arflife.org/help/irma. 

With its origins dating back to 1895, today Berkeley Humane serves the people and animals of our community by providing life-saving programs for cats and dogs, cultivating compassion, and strengthening the human-animal bond. With the support of a dedicated and talented volunteer and staff team, Berkeley Humane intakes animals from municipals shelters around the Bay Area who are often in need of medical care, improved nutrition, enrichment and lots of love. Last year, Berkeley Humane conducted more than 1,000 adoptions and touched almost 1,000 additional pets through related services. For more information please visit: BerkeleyHumane.org 

The East Bay SPCA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to the welfare of cats and dogs in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties that strives to eliminate animal cruelty, neglect and overpopulation by providing programs and education that support people and companion animals. Founded in 1874, the East Bay SPCA is one of the nation’s oldest humane organizations. They operate two adoption centers and two spay/neuter centers, offer dog training classes and humane education programs in both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, and a full-service veterinary clinic in Oakland. Information about the East Bay SPCA can be found at http://www.eastbayspca.org or by calling 510.569.0702. Freekibble.com was launched in 2008, as the vision of then 11-year-old Mimi Ausland. Mimi was passionate about animals and wanted to feed the homeless pets at her local shelter.

“There are tens of thousands of dogs and cats in animal shelters across the country, all needing to be fed a good meal”. With this in mind, Freekibble was created and has now donated more than 19 million nutritious meals to homeless dogs and cats in shelters, rescues and food banks across the country. Freekibble is working with Halo, Purely For Pets® to donate pet food. 

GreaterGood.org is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works to improve the health and wellbeing of people, pets, and the planet. Over the last 10 years, GreaterGood.org has given more than $100 million in cash and in-kind grants to more than 3,000 charitable partners worldwide and created and operated several Signature Programs to help animals including Rescue Rebuild and Rescue Bank. To learn more, visit GreaterGood.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

Wings of Rescue is a 501c(3) charity that has flown to date, 26,000 dogs and cats from high intake and/or high-kill shelters to no kill shelters and ultimately new homes. Each Wings of Rescue flight costs thousands of dollars, and it costs on average $100 per pet to bring them to safety. The charity relies entirely on donations to fly its life-saving missions. To donate, please visit: www.wingsofrescue.org/donate 

Contact: Elena Bicker 925-296-3116 [email protected]

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