Pasco County Animal Services stepped in last week to help with rescue efforts, of dogs that were endangered by Hurricane Ida.
Mike Shumate, who oversees animal services, explained the chain of events leading to the shelter’s involvement and described how it helped.
“We were contacted by some of our network partners who asked if we could help Charleston as they were taking in dogs from the Humane Society of South Mississippi,” Shumate said, via email.
“We said we could take some of the animals they were going to pick up. We were then contacted by Charleston and made arrangements.
“Initially, we were going to meet them in Lake City since they were trying to get to Jacksonville to also drop off dogs.
“We discussed it with Charleston and offered to shelter all 50 dogs overnight at our shelter so they could rest up for the final leg of their journey.
“They were very appreciative. It worked out well, as Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB) was also going to have to drive to Lake City.”
So, instead of traveling to Lake City, HSTB only needed to travel to Pasco to pick up 15 dogs, Shumate said.
Charleston transported a total of 50 dogs on Aug. 29, with HSTB taking 15; animal services kept 20 in Pasco; and 15 went to the Jacksonville Humane Society and Halifax Humane Society in Daytona Beach.
Most of the dogs that were transported were medium to large dogs, including pit bulls, hounds, shepherds and retrievers, Shumate said.
There didn’t appear to be any purebreds, he said.
This wasn’t the first time the shelter has stepped in to help out in response to a disaster, Shumate said.
“We have helped numerous shelters with disaster relief efforts, such as Santa Rosa County Animal Services after Hurricane Michael, and we also help other local shelters when they are overcrowded or experience staff shortages, or hoarding or cruelty cases,” he said.
Shumate also explained why the shelter got involved.
“We have been blessed here in Pasco with great resource partners in the local community and surrounding counties. We have a great team who is always looking to help where we can. For us it is a matter of paying it forward — especially for disaster relief or overcrowding. There may come a time when we need assistance and we know our partners will reach out in our time of need to repay the favors,” Shumate said.
Published September 08, 2021