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ASPCA helping with local pet search and rescue: Call for help

Special to WGCU
The ASPCA helped move animals out of Hurricane Ian's path and is on the ground in Lee County in support animal search and rescue operations and working with shelters across the impacted area to identify critical needs.

Over the weekend the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was mobilizing its disaster response team to assist Lee County Domestic Animal Services in Fort Myers with search and rescue for animal victims of Hurricane Ian, and will also be supporting local emergency sheltering needs for displaced animals.

The team on the ground consists of more than 10 emergency responders from multiple disaster partners and expected to begin rescue efforts Sunday.

The Lee County Domestic Animal Services shelter still remains closed, but is expected to reopen for lost and missing pets within the next few days. The ASPCA is mobilizing an extension to the shelter to help house the additional pets coming in and is assisting in securing much needed pet food for displaced citizens.

Once the food is secured there will be sites set up to assist in distribution.

On Sunday, the ASPCA transported 54 dogs for whom the University of Florida had arranged placement.

Prior to the storm’s landfall, the ASPCA also evacuated homeless cats from shelters in the path of the storm.

The organization's animal relocation team continues to assist impacted shelters and is ready to support additional animal evacuation needs. The ASPCA disaster response team remains in communication with local and state emergency response agencies and will continue to provide boots-on-the-ground assistance for affected shelters and displaced animals and pet owners where resources can have the greatest impact.

For search and rescue or welfare checks about pets, call 239-477-1000. Urban Search and Rescue of the ASPCA is rescuing animals with their people and taking them to a cohabitated shelter.

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