Thomas County Humane Society assists with pets, livestock evacuating from storm

By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 13, 2018

THOMAS CO., Ga. (WCTV) -- It's not just people evacuating to safety, but thousands of animals too.

Georgia's Department of Agriculture is deploying trained strike teams to help relocate animals. The Thomas County Humane Society is one of them, but is currently on standby.

"It would be very, very hard just to have enough vehicles to take one trip. Especially, if you're in a situation like they are where they can't just go a little way and turn back to get another load," said Gail Roberts, Executive Director.

Their team has helped coordinate with others across the state. They say evacuating a shelter like theirs, with hundreds of animals, would be far from easy.

If conditions get worse, it could mean traveling to assist other shelters, or setting up a temporary one at the local fairgrounds for pets of incoming evacuees.

"Oh, it's catastrophic for people who love their pets," said Roberts. "They don't know what they're going home to, so they bring their home with them."

Past hurricanes have proved the need to remember our four legged friends when the storm hits.

"When Katrina came through, that really opened people's eyes that animals need help too," said James Edenfield, a volunteer.

With many hotels and shelters not allowing pets, local residents are also offering their resources, like farm land and fostering.

"If we have the means necessary, we're going to do anything possible where they're comfortable," said Edenfield.

For more information on Georgia's hurricane response and shelters for animals, click here.