152 cats and dogs flown to East Bay to flee Hurricane Irma

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More than 150 cats and dogs from Florida arrived at the Hayward Airport on Thursday afternoon on a Wings of Rescue flight.

The animal evacuees escaped Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and the potential path of Hurricane Irma.

Elena Bicker, Executive Director of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation known as ARF, said 92 cats and 60 dogs were evacuated from the Broward County animal shelter in Florida. The animals will be split up between ARF, the East Bay SPCA, and Berkeley Humane.

“We are incredibly energized to receive these animals and they are adorable,” Bicker said.

The distress call for help came on Tuesday, which will allow the shelter in Broward County to make room for other animals when the disaster hits.

“Freeing up the shelters is going to allow them to have a vacant shelter when the hurricane to provide temporary housing for displaced pets,” Allison Lindquist, President of East Bay SPCA said.

Most of the animals brought to the East Bay are in good condition, but they will be medically evaluated before they are put up for adoption. The extra animals are a challenge for the shelters that are already at near capacity.

“We need additional fosters, large dog crates, and certainly donations are gladly appreciated because we are going to have to provide medical care for these animals and buy medical supplies,” Bicker said.

The agencies hope foster families will come forward to provide temporary help until the animals find their forever homes in the Bay Area. Most of the animals from Florida will be available for adoption as soon as next week.