Here are couple of videos of incredible people rescuing abandoned animals during Florence and these videos is what prompted me to write up this post. Prepare to cry.
Before I discuss this topic, here are some resources for pet travel & evacuation during emergencies:
I need to make something crystal clear: my rage is not directed at those who literally had no time or choice to plan, but to run for their life. Different circumstances, different discussion. I am talking about people who continue to live in hurricane zone, with time to prepare and who chose not to.
You live in a HURRICANE ZONE. This shit happens every year. The weather channel has been warning you for a week or so. YOU KNOW THAT THE DISASTER IS COMING. To live in high disaster area and not be prepared, is downright ignorant.
I cannot imagine living in a high disaster area without an evacuation plan for emergencies. At least to have a crate handy. I cannot imagine knowing that disaster is coming in few days and I decide to tie up my dog to the property, abandon him or leave my cats behind. You sentence these creatures to drown by tying them up and abandoning them. I will throw my furry little shits in a suitcase if I have to and carry them out. So many people have abandoned their animals knowing that the storm is coming. All these videos and news reports are breaking my heart. YOU KNEW the storm was coming and waited last minute to evacuate while leaving your poor dog behind. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THAT. Not only did you abandon your pet, but also you tied him up without giving it a chance to fight for its life.
I want to believe that in their heads it goes like this: “we’ll tie up the dog so he doesn’t escape and we can come back for it when worst passes.” I WANT TO BELIEVE that this is the case. Nevertheless, what these people have done essentially is sentence these animals to drown.
Emotionally, intellectually AND factually, I am trying to rationalize this. I do not want to be a judgmental bitch during a difficult time. Let’s break this down for a moment:
FIRST: when something is not happening to you, it’s easier to judge & say: “I WOULD NEVER DO THAT.” You honestly do not know what you will do or how you will react in an emergency.
SECOND: I firmly in my heart believe that pets are part of the family. They are living, sentient creatures whose life depends on us.
THIRD: if I was given ample time to plan my evacuation, to look up resources (many hotels offer place for animals, see the resources I listed above); I cannot imagine leaving my dog and cats behind.
Hurricane Florence is not something that “just happened.” People were given time to make evacuation arrangements and yet, so many decided to abandon their animals. Even worse, they did not even let them off leash, but tied them to the property, leaving them to drown. At least if they are free, they have a fighting chance, to get away from flood and get on higher ground. Animals do that. Microchipping your pet is NOT expensive. Waterproof collar with your current phone # on it is not that fucking difficult. Once they find them, rescuers and shelters can contact you once the storm passes. There are crates available from shelters to help you in transit.
What happened here? Laziness? Carelessness? Flight or fright? Why did you get that dog in the first place if his life is disposable?
I don’t understand it. I don’t want to understand it and rationalizing these decisions only gives me a headache and makes me want to cry.