ASPCA Continues to Help Hundreds of Animals Displaced by Hurricane Irma through Field Rescue, Relocation & Emergency Sheltering

ASPCA volunteer comforts a kitten in the ASPCA Duncan, SC emergency shelter. (Copyright ASPCA)
ASPCA volunteer comforts a kitten in the ASPCA Duncan, SC emergency shelter. (Copyright ASPCA)

Since Hurricane Irma struck the Florida coast, the ASPCA has assisted animals in impacted communities in Florida, South Carolina

NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — In response to Hurricane Irma, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has been on the ground in Florida and South Carolina assisting local authorities with relocation, field rescue, and emergency sheltering for more than 1,200 animals impacted by Hurricane Irma. (See updated figures below.)

In Florida, the ASPCA assisted local agencies in transporting hundreds of homeless animals displaced by the storm and mobilized its water rescue team to save the lives of animals at risk due to flooding in Lee County. At the request of Miami-Dade Animal Services, the ASPCA is on the ground providing sheltering assistance and resources to conduct field rescues. The ASPCA is also transporting homeless animals to its emergency shelter in South Carolina and to other rescue groups in California and Washington.

In South Carolina, the ASPCA established a 40,000 square-foot emergency shelter in Duncan, which is serving as a safe place for hundreds of displaced shelter animals. Rescue groups and shelters impacted by the disaster are using this shelter to make space in their own facilities for the influx of local lost pets and owned pets who need temporary shelter. To date, more than 500 unowned animals have been cared for at the Duncan emergency shelter. In addition, the ASPCA is in the process of establishing distribution centers in Duncan, as well as in Miami, Fla. to provide critical pet supplies to affected areas.

“Through our rescue work, we have seen first-hand the extensive damage Hurricane Irma caused throughout Florida, but we’ve also witnessed amazing dedication from impacted and surrounding communities to help people and their pets receive the care they need,” said Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “The ASPCA is pleased to assist our partners in Florida by providing critical resources and services to ensure the safety and well-being of animals displaced by the storm.”

The ASPCA disaster response team is working with dozens of organizations including Miami-Dade Animal Services, Lee County Domestic Animal Services, and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division to provide assistance for animals in need. The following agencies have assisted the ASPCA in providing much-needed care for displaced animals and supported relocation efforts to place homeless animals with shelters and rescue groups throughout the country:

Animal Humane Society; Animal Rescue League of Boston; Animal Rescue League of Iowa; Anti-Cruelty Society; Charleston Animal Society; Dubuque Regional Humane Society; Grand Strand Humane Society; GreaterGood; Humane Society for Southwest Washington; Humane Society of Tennessee; Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley; Lincoln Memorial University; Louisa Community Animal Rescue Team; Louisiana SPCA; Marin Humane Society; New Hampshire SPCA; NYC Animal Care Centers; Petco; Petsmart Charities; Second Chance Animal Shelter; Toledo Area Humane Society; University of Tennessee Companion Animal Initiative of Tennessee; Wings of Rescue; Wisconsin Humane Society; and Young Williams Animal Village.

The ASPCA has assisted more than 600 animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey and is currently assisting the SPCA of Texas in Dallas with their emergency shelter by providing care for lost pets until they can be reunited with their families. The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team deploys nationwide to assist in relocation, search-and-rescue, sheltering and placement of animals during disaster situations including wildfires, tornadoes and floods. In 2016, the ASPCA rescued nearly 1,600 animals from disaster situations, including Hurricane Matthew and the wildfire in Lake County, Calif.

Latest Update:  September 25, 2017, 2:13 PM ET 

As part of our ongoing efforts to help animals impacted by Hurricane Irma, the ASPCA has delivered critical pet supplies to dozens of shelters and resource centers in communities affected by the storm throughout Florida. So far, approximately 11,500 cats and dogs have been assisted through the distribution of pet food, bedding, medical supplies, crates and other resources for shelters and pet owners in need.

In addition to distributing supplies, we provided sheltering assistance for homeless animals at Lee County Domestic Animal Services, Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS) and the Florida Keys SPCA, and we relocated more than 1,200 unowned shelter animals out of impacted communities.

“The devastation caused by Hurricane Irma will have an ongoing impact on communities in Florida for months to come,” said Tim Rickey, Vice President of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “The ASPCA is committed to providing support for shelters and pet owners by ensuring they have the critical supplies they need to care for animals affected by the storm.”

The ASPCA delivered pet supplies to the following animal shelters and resource centers in Florida:

American Red Cross – Key West; Barky Pines Animal Rescue and Sanctuary; Bridge to Hope; Broward County Animal Care and Adoption; Cat Depot; Central Broward Regional Park; Centro Campesino; Citrus County Animal Services; First Coast No More Homeless Pets; Flagler Humane Society; Florida Keys SPCA; Griffing Community Center; K9Resque; Lake City Humane Society; Lee County Domestic Animal Services; Miami-Dade Animal Services; Nate’s Honor; Notre Dame D’Haiti Catholic Church; Okeechobee County Animal Control & Animal Shelter; Peggy Adams Animal Rescue; Safe Pet Rescue; SPCA of Brevard; Tampa Humane Society; Tri-County Animal Rescue; and Trust Again Pet Shelter, Inc.

We’ve also cared for hundreds of homeless cats and dogs at our emergency shelter in Duncan, South Carolina. We are now winding down operations at this temporary shelter, as we place homeless animals with partner groups throughout the country, including in South Carolina, where these animals will be made available for adoption. We had set up our emergency shelter in Duncan as a safe place for homeless animals in need of immediate evacuation, enabling local shelters to make room for lost pets and owned animals who require temporary sheltering.

Efforts like these are not possible without the support of our generous members. Thank you to all who have contributed to our emergency response and our work to ensure the health and safety of animals.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first animal welfare organization in North America and continues to serve as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA is committed to its mission of providing effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

ASPCA Photos/Footage (Credit/ASPCA)
ASPCA water rescue in Lee County, Fla.:
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ASPCA emergency shelter in Duncan, S.C.:
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ASPCA transport in Miami, Fla.:
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