ELYRIA — Several new dogs are waiting for their forever homes at Friendship Animal Protective League after being evacuated from shelters in South Carolina.
In an effort to get animals out of coastal South Carolina before Hurricane Florence made landfall, more than 40 dogs were transported to other shelters, Friendship Animal Protective League Executive Director Greg Willey said. Friendship took in six of them.
The dogs that came to Elyria were originally going to a shelter in Knoxville, Tennessee, but when that kennel filled, organizers began reaching out to rescues all over the country — including Friendship.
“We’re all in it together, and we’re all in it to help each other,” Willey said.
Willey explained that dogs were moved out, rather than cats, because it is often easier to place a cat in a temporary foster home, plus the location of the dogs was more susceptible to flooding because it was less elevated.
During storms or other emergencies, it is not uncommon for shelters to take in pets from other areas, Willey said. During another major storm the Cleveland Animal Protective League took in dogs and Friendship took some of the dogs already in Cleveland APL’s kennels so it could handle the influx.
“When they were taking in animals from other places, we reached out and helped the Cleveland kennels at (the) time,” he said. “We all try to work together to keep things going.”
Willey said the dogs did good on the nine-hour drive up from Tennessee on Saturday, with one, named Davidson, riding in the front seat the entire trip. The 2-year-old boxer/American bulldog mix was adopted shortly after arriving in Elyria. The other five are available, along with the rest of the animals in the shelter.
“They’re all mix-breed dogs,” Willey said. “They range in size. One that we had out today that was out at the (Dog Gone) Poker Run was a 60-pound boy named Kidd — like Captain Kidd — an American bulldog mix, seems very well-behaved, did very well at the event. Then we had a little shepherd mix, (a) little hound mix; they’re all really cute.”
He said four of the dogs are heartworm positive — which is not uncommon in the South, as heartworm season is year-round — and along with supplies, the shelter is looking for donations to help defer treatment costs.
The APL always is looking for donations, but Willey suggests donating cat litter and canned dog or cat food right now, as it keeps for a long time and can be easily transported if Friendship sends supplies to other shelters.
With the addition of the South Carolina dogs, Friendship is looking for people to adopt to empty out cages. Going into the week, they only have three open spaces and could take in more pets affected by the storm if asked.
“We will need people to adopt because space is always an issue,” he said. “People need to help us make room for animals by giving animals a home because we can only help as many as we have space for.”
For more information, or to adopt an animal, call Friendship APL at (440) 322-4321.
The shelter at 8303 Murray Ridge Road in Elyria is closed today, but open 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
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