Hurricane Dorian: Atlanta shelters prepare for displaced pets

As Hurricane Dorian looms in the Atlantic Ocean, pet adoption agencies in metro Atlanta are preparing for a likely influx of four-legged evacuees from the storm.

Best Friends Animal Society Atlanta is holding a hurricane adoption special this weekend to help clear shelter space for likely new arrivals. The Atlanta Humane Society, meanwhile, said it will take in four dozen pets this weekend from Florida to help shelters there accommodate abandoned animals.

Pets are often surrendered to local shelters as hurricanes approach or are left abandoned by owners fleeing the storms. Dorian is now a dangerous Category 4 storm, and as of 11 a.m. featured sustained winds of 150 mph, according to Channel 2 Action News Severe Weather Team 2.

Best Friends, a no-kill shelter on South Atlanta Road near I-285 west of Atlanta, said on Facebook it has reduced its adoption fees to $5 or less through Monday.

“In preparation for Hurricane Dorian, help us clear the shelter!” the post said.

Christina Hill, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta Humane Society, said the nonprofit is accepting 48 pets — 40 cats and eight dogs — from shelters in Florida.

Atlanta Humane Society, a no-kill shelter that operates facilities in Atlanta, Alpharetta and Duluth, said the dogs arrived Saturday afternoon and the cats are expected on Sunday.

The animals are relocating from shelters in north central Florida.

Hill said six of the eight dogs are heartworm positive and will need treatment before they will be available for adoption, which will probably be in a couple weeks. Most of the cats will be available for adoption immediately, though some will need medical treatment before being eligible for adoption.

Hill said AHS does not expect to take other displaced pets before the hurricane makes landfall, but will be ready to accept animals if needed from other shelters after the storm.

Hill said AHS and other shelters coordinate with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency as well as local and federal emergency agencies however they’re needed.

“We always keep our eyes on the weather,” she said. “As soon as GEMA calls we hop into action.”

Hill said AHS is accepting donations to aid pets affected by the hurricane.

“Financial support is always the best way to help in a disaster,” she said.

For more information about Best Friends Animal Society Atlanta, click here.

For more information about Atlanta Human Society, click here.