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Urgent From PETA: Cruel—and Criminal—to Abandon Animals During Hurricane Idalia

For Immediate Release:
August 28, 2023

Brittany Williams 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – As Tropical Storm Idalia is expected to intensify into a hurricane and bring life-threatening storm surges to parts of Florida—and with dozens of counties already under a state of emergency—PETA is reminding everyone to never leave dogs tethered or penned outside and always to take animal companions with you if you have to evacuate.

Every time there’s a natural disaster, many dogs and other companion animals are left outside to fend for themselves and even left behind when humans evacuate. Dogs kept tethered will swim to exhaustion and drown—and there are tethered dogs everywhere. PETA’s Animal Rescue Team has witnessed firsthand the trauma that animals endure when left behind to face floodwaters and flying debris. During previous storms, we have found dogs dead. We have also found them up to their necks in water, unable to sit or lie down, and in almost-submerged crates inside houses, and we’ve seen animals who have been flung around by high winds. Animals are terrified in weather conditions such as these.

  • Keep all animals indoors with you if you choose not to evacuate. Never leave them tethered, penned, or crated.
  • If you evacuate, plan your destination in advance and don’t leave animals behind or unsupervised in a car.
  • Be prepared: Use secure carriers, leashes, and harnesses. Bring along water and food bowls, a favorite toy, a blanket, a towel, and enough food for a week. Have your animals microchipped and attach legible ID tags securely to their collars.

Watch for other animals in trouble. If you see any animals in distress but can’t help, note their location and call authorities immediately.

Watch PETA’s Natural Disasters: Have a Plan.

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