A total of 35 pets from Gainesville, Florida, were transported to the PAWS Chicago facility in Little Village just last week and they are now available for adoption.
“We take dogs that were already in the shelter, so we can clear out the shelter for dogs that will be in need from the disasters,” said Joan Harris from PAWS Chicago.
Two PAWS vans were met with cheers on last Wednesday 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.
Pet Adoptions Pour in During Clear the Shelters in Chicago Area
Ten animals are now available for adoption—three dogs and six cats at the PAWS adoption center in Lincoln Park, and one cat at the North Shore adoption center.
"It feels great, I mean whenever there’s a need like that in this country and we’ve seen so many hurricanes and natural disasters lately it’s just a wonderful feeling to do something,” expressed Harris.
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.
"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.
Once inside the PAWS medical center, the animals were weighed 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 are ready for adoption (and/or also available to foster for those not quite ready to adopt) to make Chicago their new home.