VINCENNES, Ind. — Twenty dogs displaced by recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma are now finding shelter here.

Laura Arial, director of the Vincennes Animal Shelter, welcomed the dogs Saturday evening from two volunteers with the ASPCA.

The dogs will officially be available for adoption on Thursday at the shelter, 1128 River Road.

“All shelter dogs are rescue dogs,” Arial said. “But these dogs are really rescue dogs because they’ve gone through some rough stuff lately.”

These dogs, Arial explained, are actually ones that had already been abandoned at shelters in Texas and Florida. They were moved to a temporary shelter in South Carolina to make way for animals that the ASPCA knew would need to be rescued after the storms.

More than 1,600 dogs were removed from Florida alone, Arial said, and these 20 were some of 600 being temporarily housed in a warehouse in South Carolina.

“They needed to clear the shelters out,” Arial said. “They knew they would need space for dogs and cats directly affected by Irma and Harvey. You don’t want to remove those animals from the direct vicinity as their owners, hopefully, will eventually come to claim them.

“So these animals, the ones we’re taking in, are truly homeless animals.”

Arial said while attending a conference earlier this year in Florida, she signed the Vincennes Animal Shelter up to be a disaster relief shelter. About a week ago she got the call to see if she whether she could take any dogs displaced by recent hurricanes.

She informed them she could take up to 20 dogs but no cats as the shelter is currently full.

Many of the dogs, she said, are pit bull mixes.

“I told them we’d be happy to take them,” Arial said. “Because some shelters won’t. Some cities even have ordinances against them, but we don’t ever seem to have a problem (adopting out) pit bulls.

“We do really well with them, in fact.”

The two volunteers with the ASPCA transporting the dogs across country are actually moving 30 dogs total. Twenty will stay here and the other 10 will spend the night and head out first thing Sunday morning to shelters in Kansas.

“We’re absolutely ready,” Arial said of the local shelter. “We’ve been running our shelter at about half-capacity for the last two years consistently. We’re doing more and more adoptions every month. And we’ve got a mega adoption event coming up in Indianapolis in October.

“That, and I think people in our community will want to adopt a dog that was affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” she said. ‘I think we’ll get people from Knox County but as far away as Evansville and Terre Haute, too.”

Arial said even taking on these additional 20 dogs, the local shelter will still have at least five cages left to take new dogs in the coming weeks.

They are keeping these 20 “hurricane” dogs for five days to be sure they get acclimated after their long journey but also to learn a little bit about their personalities. Each will come with a health certificate as they belong to the ASPCA and have crossed state lines.

Arial also made sure that the two ASPCA volunteers had free room and board for their overnight stay in Vincennes and is sending them on with some local favorites, including Bobe’s pizza, some Charlie’s caramel corn, two Vincennes T-shirts and some gift certificates to Zip & Sip.


Source: Vincennes Sun-Commercial, http://bit.ly/2huPRKy


Information from: Vincennes Sun-Commercial, http://www.vincennes.com

This is an AP-Indiana Exchange story offered by the Vincennes Sun-Commercial.