Portsmouth Humane Society takes in pets displaced by Hurricane Irma

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – After a long drive, nearly 30 cats, dogs, and puppies made it to Portsmouth Sunday night.

A team of volunteers and staff from the Portsmouth Humane Society traveled in vans to, and from, South Carolina, where shelters are making room for animals that may be separated from their families because of Hurricane Irma.

“It was amazing with all of the people that were pulling alongside us and waving and giving us thumbs up,” says External Affairs Director James McLaughlin.

He said the idea came out the Portsmouth Humane Society’s own planning for Irma.

“We were discussing what we would need to do here if Portsmouth Humane, in the event that the hurricane came up here, started talking about how we would work evacuating our animals. Once we realized that we were going to be safe, then the question was, okay, how can we help somebody else in that situation?” McLaughlin says.

Some of the animals will stay in Portsmouth and be put up for adoption. Others will end up in shelters across Virginia.

“They’re going to Louisa County, to Arlington, to Alexandria, to Fredericksburg, to Middleburg, and to Fairfax, so these animals will have a great chance at adoption, at life, and a wonderful life ahead for them,” says Debra Griggs, President of the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies.

The puppies will be under health observation for two weeks before they can be adopted. Before the team leaves on Wednesday, they’re asking for donations of pet food to bring to one of the shelters in South Carolina.