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A North Carolina animal shelter has issued a warning that any companion animals not rehomed before Hurricane Florence will be euthanized.
With people leaving the state and their animals behind, no one is left to adopt them.
As a result, Pender County Animal Shelter is becoming increasingly crowded.
The government-funded facility is under obligation to accept every animal surrendered to it – but is treating euthanasia as a last resort.
Shelter manager Jewel Horton told the Independent: “We are avoiding euthanasia at all costs.
“That’s why we’re begging for assistance.”
‘More important than things’
The local branch of the Humane Society is working to help the shelter create space and adopt out companion animals where possible.
President of the Burgaw, North Carolina branch, Julia Lamacchia said: “For us, animals are more important than things.
“Things can be replaced – anything can be replaced – but you can never replace a life, whether it’s a person or an animal.”
Putting her money where her mouth is, Lamacchia and her husband Kevin Raffee personally loaded a nine foot van with almost two dozen animals on Wednesday morning, as Hurricane Florence drew closer.
At the Pender County Animal Shelter, volunteer Samira Davis said they’d saved 30 to 50 animals.
She noted, though, that there are still many animals in need.