Hurricane Irma has been a nightmare figuring out where to go and take our pups. We evacuated on Thursday based on South Carolina taking a direct hit from a very powerful storm. We had 30 dogs that we needed to get out of harm's way. I went to Atlanta, GA with some pups and the balance went to Charlotte, NC. Dr. Bergman at Carolina Veterinary Specialists admitted our most critical dogs, and the balance that did not need full-time medical care were taken to Hotels that allowed dogs in Charlotte. The problem was making sure we got out in enough time to guarantee we would have Diesel fuel for the big van and Gas for the smaller van.
The logistics of having this many dogs under Medical Care is quite extensive. The storm shifted left and right so many times that we were not sure if our Rehab Facility was going to be in a Mandatory Evacuation area or not. They had already issued a Voluntary Evacuation which we decided was best to take now. Over the last couple of days, the path of Irma moved to where Atlanta was now in the path.
A Mandatory Evacuation was given for the Barrier Islands around the Rehab Center. After talking to the officials, we decided it was best for us to go back to the Rehab Facility which does not have any trees close by and give up our five rooms to allow for people that were coming out of Florida to have places to stay. Our Critical Care Cases will remain in the hospitals until we can get them out after the storm has passed and it is safe to travel again. To say this storm has been a nightmare is an understatement.
We are now hunkered down to ride out the storm for the next three days. We have decided we are going to have to find a place we can rent with a yard out of harm's way the next time this happens. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The problem with moving that many Medical Cases is the risk of running out of fuel if you get stuck in traffic which there has been a lot of. A lot of the roads around us are now shut down. We have plenty of food and water and medical supplies for all of the pups we have.
The internet has come and gone during the last couple of days. It is up right now, but that will change as the storm gets closer and power lines are down. I am going to post updates for several dogs today while the internet is up. We desperately need donations to help with the extra expense of the evacuation and the extended medical care. We have taken in three new dogs that are each in critical care. Carolina Vet. Specialists is loaded with all of our Speciality Care cases.
Please, keep everyone in your prayers that is in the path of this Monster Hurricane. We will post updates on our Facebook page daily to let everyone know how we are doing. If we lose internet service, we will post as soon as we are able from our phones. There are a lot of people and their beloved pets that need to get out of the way of this storm. Whatever you do, DO NOT leave your pets abandoned outside tied up. Put them inside your home, so they at least have a chance if you do not take them.
Last year (during Hurrican Matthew) we got lots of phone calls from people begging us to help with dogs that were hanging from trees. The animals died a horrible death. Get out of the way of the storm and take your beloved animals with you.
Thanks for caring about us and our beloved pups.