Hurricane Florence discussion: Should people who evacuated without their pets be charged with animal cruelty?

I was searching the internet for interesting Hurricane Florence animal rescue information when a statement caught my eye from the website.

“The reality of depravity when humans are confronted with anomalies for which they had adequate prep-time yet still made grotesque decisions. Disregarding a bicycle is perfectly understood; valuating a few heartbeats as dispensable is unfathomable.”

YouTube screenshot 6 dogs rescued from abandoned locked cage
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The picture below shows the released dogs running away from their prison:

Released dogs
Released dogs

This article written by my friend Penny Eims tells of a family in Myrtle Beach who left their two dogs in a chain link fence and another in a trailer without food or water. Should this be considered abandonment and punishable by law? The dogs were remanded into police custody pending an investigation.

Below is a video of the six dogs being rescued by a hero volunteer

On one hand, many rescues set up for people will only accept service dogs and nothing else. On the other, there were Good Samaritans announcing days in advance that they were out of the Hurricane Florence danger zone and had room in their home for a family, including pets.

Pet owners should get it into their heads that if they have to evacuate, their pets have to evacuate as well. This doesn’t mean dumping them at a rest stop, a convenience store or trying to pass them off to an animal rescue that is already overwhelmed with the animals in their care (yes, that DID happen in Myrtle Beach).

While I personally consider these actions as animal cruelty, imagine the time it will take law enforcement to investigate each claim. Does anyone have a number as to how many were abandoned as people escaped Hurricane Florence?

What do the readers think? While this is a “dog” article, it pertains to any animals left to drown or starve to death. Please sound off in the comments.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

9 thoughts on “Hurricane Florence discussion: Should people who evacuated without their pets be charged with animal cruelty?”

  1. Given ample warning there should be no excuse. Neglect,abandonment are abuse. I have to add what factory farms do is criminal and should be prosecuted. They leave the animals to die and then replace them with the insurance money. Their greed should not be rewarded. Load them onto the trucks and get them to higher ground.

    1. Yes, the ample warning issue means no one should use time as an excuse. However, it seems some people have used the hurricane as an excuse to abandon companion animals.

  2. The reference to the Myrtle Beach dog abandonment referred to in the article has to be animal cruelty/animal abuse under the law but it will not be punished. In natural disasters such as this animal cruelty of this type goes unnoticed and unpunished. It’s about lack of enforcement.

    There is a breakdown in the natural order of things and law enforcement when natural disasters occur. There’s no excuse for this sort of animal abuse because there is plenty of time to take proper steps to protect the welfare of companion animals.

  3. I can only presume that the people who leave cats and dogs behind during these hurricanes are people who don’t really care enough for their animals. There was plenty of warning about flooding with this hurricane. Therefore there was plenty of time to collect up your companion animals together with your possessions and go somewhere else.

    With forest fires it can be different because they can move very quickly. I can understand it sometimes when people leave their animals behind but even then it seems to be extraordinary because if a person can get out then they can take their animals with them. I really see no excuse for it. There must be a lack of true care and emotional connection between human and animal under the circumstances.

    As to whether it’s a crime, that is a slightly different matter. Strictly speaking I would say that it is a crime and therefore the answer to the question has to be a yes. However, it will never happen because the authorities don’t see it that way. And there may be some circumstances when it truly has been impossible to collect up companion animals and take them with you.

  4. People offered to go to the coast and bring back animals. All people had to do was ask. I do know people living on the coast were trying to get their animals into local rescue and that was insane because the rescues were doing all they could to protect the animals already in their care. There were countless offers of family boarding with pets or places to park RV’s out of the way of the storm.

  5. Yes, most definitely it should be animal cruelty, especially if the animals are left confined in something they cannot escape from to seek shelter on their own. A hurricane is anticipated days in advance and anyone who lives in an area prone to hurricanes should have an evacuation plan in place. Pets are supposed to be family members and should not be left behind while the humans seek to save themselves but leave the pets to fend for themselves and suffer a horrible death.

  6. Yes. We live in a world where information is available on multiple formats. The warnings for this storm were clear. If you can take yourself to safety you can take the animal you took guardianship of. I live in one of the buttholes of the world but during a fire there is always to a place to take your pets and livestock.

  7. Yes it is animal cruelty, neglect, abandonment. It is also extreme stupidity to cage, chain or otherwise impede the animal’s ability to escape to a safer place. This is purely EVIL. Some humans are true monsters.

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