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Local animal shelter rescues animals affected by Hurricane Ian

BVSPCA Airlift
Quinn Kirkpatrick
/
Delaware Public Media

The Brandywine Valley SPCA arranged one of the first rescue airlifts of shelter animals from Florida following Hurricane Ian.

Volunteers and BVSPCA staff welcomed a plane Monday carrying 66 shelter animals escaping areas affected by the storm.

The Humane Society of Naples, a BVSPCA partner, rounded up the animals from shelters in heavily damaged Collier, Lee, Sarasota and Highland Counties so that the shelters there could open space for pets displaced by the hurricane, and recover from the damage.

Second Chance Program Manager Laura Page says this isn’t the first time the BVSPCA has been called to action in the wake of an emergency.

BVSCPA Plane
Quinn Kirkpatrick
/
Delaware Public Media

“We frequently are the first ones into a disaster zone. Hurricane Harvey in Texas we were boots-on-the-ground there. Most of the hurricanes in the last 6 years we’ve been the first organization there,” said Page. “The tornados in Kentucky: we drove into Kentucky and we were the first organization there. So yeah, we are usually the first ones they call.”

15 dogs and 51 cats were unloaded from the plane by BVSPCA staff and evaluated by the medical team to be put up for adoption less than 24 hours after their arrival.

Some of the animals are going to the New Castle campus, but a majority will be up for adoption on the West Chester campus in Pennsylvania.

“These are highly adoptable pets that have no chance of getting adopted in Florida right now- people can’t be focusing on that. But up here we can find families for these pets, and it’s really important to step up when this kind of thing happens,” said Sarah Smith, Director of Marketing for the BVSPCA.

The BVSPCA began preparations for these animals before Hurricane Ian hit with an adoption promotion to clear out space in their shelters, but emphasize the need for these pets to be adopted as soon as possible.

More information can be found online at bvspca.org/ian/.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and a graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021