A total of 35 pets from Gainesville, Florida, are now safely inside the PAWS Chicago facility in Little Village, where they're getting ready to be adopted.
Two PAWS vans were met with cheers on Wednesday morning after traveling hundreds of miles to rescue dogs and cats from the areas of Florida affected by Hurricane Michael.
After being on the road for more than 22 hours, the animals were full of energy and ready to meet Chicago.
"These are all animals who were in the shelter prior to the hurricane and needed a place to go," said Stacy Price, PAWS Chicago senior director of animal operations.
The 11 dogs and 24 cats used to live at the Alachua County Humane Society shelter, a facility now reaching capacity as workers continue to rescue pets in the affected Florida Panhandle after the hurricane.
"There is a shelter there that is going into the Panhandle itself and working with three shelters now uninhabitable," Price said. "Some lost power, some sustained damage. They are going in pulling dogs and cats out and trying to find them rescue."
Once inside the PAWS medical center, the animals were weighed in Wednesday and given medical exams.
"In all of the chaos of the evacuation, none of the medical records transferred over," Price said. "So we have a kitten with wire in jaw, another dog recently hit by car. We’ll have to do X-rays."
Most appear to be healthy and in good spirits and will soon be ready for adoption to make Chicago their new home.
The check-up process could take at least 24 hours, Price said, depending on each pet and their condition. Starting Thursday, you could see some of them ready for foster care or adoption on the PAWS Chicago website.