Abandoned cats, dogs from Hurricane Irma seek adoptive families

The Granite State is doing its part to help animals that were affected by Hurricane Irma.

The New Hampshire Society for the Protection of Animals said it has taken in 32 cats and 10 dogs from shelters in Florida. The latest group of animals arrived Thursday and seemed to be settling in, officials said.

“It’s very stressful, first of all, to go through a hurricane and then to be put on a plane and transported,” said Sheila Ryan, director of development for the NHSPCA.

A new policy was put in place for areas threatened by Hurricane Irma of clearing shelters to make room for animals that would be rounded up after the storm, so they would not be shipped out of state.

“So what that prevented from happening is the reunion between the family that lost them and the pet that they loved,” Ryan said.

Staff members at the NHSPCA said they were still getting to know the animals. For cats, that’s done on an individual basis, but for dogs, the process is much more cut and dried.

“That shows us whether or not they’re comfortable around other dogs or small children or bicycles — certain things that we have as standard tests,” Ryan said.

Ryan said the animals from Florida mostly appear to be in good health. There were a couple of cats in the first group that developed respiratory infections, but she said the latest group is not exhibiting any of those symptoms. Once they clear quarantine, they will be ready for adoption.

An adoption event is planned at PetSmart locations across New Hampshire to find new homes for the animals.

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