Authorities Consider Felony Charges After Pets Tied Up, Abandoned in Hurricane

Frederick Owens
September 13, 2017

Sauve said once winds reach a sustained 35 miles per hour, no officers will be permitted to rescue animals.

Authorities in Palm Beach County, Florida are livid after they discovered dozens of dogs apparently left behind by their owners who evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Irma.

Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control director Dianne Sauve told USA media that it is illegal and people will be prosecuted, "There is absolutely no excuse for doing that". We will not stand for it here in Palm Beach County'.

Sauve and lawyer Dave Aronberg told ABC affiliate WFTS that individuals caught leaving their animals outside by themselves in the middle of the hurricane will face prosecution.

Ms Sauve said that abandoning animals in this situation is unconscionable. "We will find you, and we will prosecute you".

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Deputy Julie Bridges was picking up supplies for a hurricane shelter when her patrol auto crashed head-on into a vehicle driven by FDOT Sgt. Joseph Ossman, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post.

Calling the behavior "animal cruelty", officials said they have been able to rescue 49 dogs and two cats who were abandoned by their owners as Irma made its way to Florida.

Courtney Jolly, director of public relations and marketing for the Naples Zoo, said: 'We have set hurricane plans and procedures already in place at the beginning of hurricane season every year'.

As Hurricane Irma continues to wreak havoc on the cities of Florida, one thing that is on many people's minds are the animals.

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