I recently fled the state of Florida and my home in order to keep myself and my dog safe. While I could have gone to a shelter, I learned that only a couple of them in my evacuation zone accepted dogs and they were already full to capacity.
I’ve always wondered how it is that during these kinds of crisis pets get left behind. Now I know. I used to blame the pet owners but now I’ve come to be a little less judgmental.
Fortunately for us, we had a safe haven for us to go. We drove for 14 hours in heavy traffic but finally made it to my son’s little farm in Tennessee. We were blessed to be welcomed with hugs and kisses. However, I realize that not everyone had that option.
State Representatives need to realize that in our present economy there are still many people who are living paycheck to paycheck. They can’t afford to just pick up and leave and go to a hotel. Additionally, not all hotels will accept animals and the ones that do fill up very quickly.
I hope that the states that have recently been effected by these tragedies will see the need to put something in place to provide for more “pet friendly” shelters in the future. If not, then we can’t prosecute people when they are forced by circumstances beyond their control to leave their pets behind. It is wrong to place people in a position where they have to choose between the safety of their children or elderly family members and their beloved pets.
Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world that has an abundance of “pet friendly” shelters rather than what we have now, which is a tremendous shortage of them.