MADISONVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A group of dogs in Irma’s deadly path are now safe thanks to the big hearts of East Tennesseans. They were originally housed in a shelter in Valdosta, Georgia, and would have been euthanized to make room for other animals coming in from Florida, but have since been brought to Madisonville in Monroe County for a second chance.
“What they needed was help was taking the dogs that were already in their shelters, so small shelters like us and individual rescues to take the dogs that were already there to make space for Irma,” said Monroe County Animal Shelter director Liz Sneed.
Without those small shelters and groups like At Risk Intervention, pups like these would have been killed to make space for stray animals from Hurricane Irma.
“Shelters are small and when you get full you have to scramble to see what you’re going to do for space. They knew that they were already getting an influx of animals from Irma. They have to make decisions on those that they have,” said Sneed.
Sneed says this all started on Facebook. Shelter directors anywhere near Irma’s damage said their shelters were filling up. A few dogs became 47.
The dogs arrived in East Tennessee this weekend. Many found spots in shelters in places like New York, Nebraska, Idaho and Nashville, as well as Monroe County.
“You’re actually saving two lives when you adopt, because you’re saving the one you adopt and you’re saving that one that will come in,” said Sneed. “We need to move ours to be able to take on any incoming and be able to help.”
Sneed says there’s still more to do to shelter more animals. Places like the Monroe County Animal Shelter need adoptions quickly.