Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Pets were tied to trees and cars by owners fleeing Hurricane Irma

Pets were tied to trees and cars by owners fleeing Hurricane Irma

"They are left in a yard, in a pen they can not escape from or tethered to trees or poles", said Diane Sauve, head of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, to WPTV.

'We will find you, and we will prosecute you'.

Authorities said numerous pets who were rescued tied to poles or left in pens outside of their homes, and that if they can gather enough evidence they intend to prosecute those owners.

In Texas, several pets were left under similar circumstances, even after being told by the authorities not to leave animals behind prior to Hurricane Harvey.

"There is absolutely no excuse for doing that", agency Director Dianne Sauve said to the newspaper.

In Palm Beach animal control officers rescued 49 dogs and two cats in 48 hours this weekend.

As for the pets who were found by authorities, their owners will not get the opportunity to leave them-or potentially any other pets-out in a storm again.

On Friday there were 42 pet owners who said they could not take their pets to where they were sheltering from the hurricane and surrendered their animals to the carers.

"We are asking the public, if it is safe, consider sheltering any animals you see left outside", she said.

Not only that, if there's a record of you surrendering ownership of a pet, animal adoption agencies may hold that against you if ever want another.

'But we're not a boarding facility'.

Ms Sauve said that abandoning animals in this situation is unconscionable.

'The ASPCA stands ready to assist animals in Hurricane Irma's path, but the first and best line of defense for a pet will always be a well-prepared owner'.

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