Pet owners who abandoned dogs before Irma could face charges


Dozens of pet owners could face charges after abandoning their dogs just before Hurricane Irma hit.

"There's no excuse for leaving your dog behind," said Capt. David Walesky of Palm Beach Animal Care and Control. "There are pet friendly shelters. There were options for these people. They evacuated. They felt there property wasn't safe for them. Why leave your animals?”

Animal Care and Control said 45 dogs were abandoned before Hurricane Irma.

"In one case, somebody left the dog with a bowl of water and a bundle of bananas," Walesky said. "That's not going to keep a dog alive during a hurricane."

Animal Care and Control found the majority of the dogs in Belle Glade some tied to their houses, others were found roaming around the neighborhood.

Walesky says all the abandoned dogs owners could be facing animal cruelty charges.

"Those that are very clearly intentional, meaning they were tied up or left in harms way, we are going to be working with the state attorney’s office to prosecute those people,” Walesky said.

The situations will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Prior to the storm, about 50 dogs were surrendered to Animal Care and Control and are now at capacity.

One hundred dogs will fly out of Palm Beach International Airport Wednesday morning to three different private shelters in other states.

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