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Dog rescue shelter gathers aid for animals affected by Hurricane Ian

Susan Zoltac, Maria Zoltac, Steve Gibson
Steve Gibson, left background, helps Maria Zoltac into the back of his truck as her sister Susan, Zoltac, left, makes herself comfortable with her dogs after being rescued from Sanibel Island Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

(PALM BEACH COUNTY, Florida)– Hurricane Ian was a historic weather event, killing scores of people and displacing hundreds of thousands. The superstorm also had a terrible impact on the pets of those who had to evacuate.

Videos are surfacing of pets and other animals that were left stranded amongst the destruction, unable to fend for themselves.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue, the largest no-kill dog shelter in the United States, has begun efforts to assist other shelters and animal rescues in areas of Florida, like Lee and Collier counties, that were hit by the storm.

Laurie Simmons, founder, and president of the South Florida-based rescue says that the organization is filling a 45-foot long bus with supplies that left for the West Coast early Friday.

“Right now, we’re loading our bus with crates for animals that may need evacuation from shelters over on the West Coast,” Simmons said, “We’ve also put out a plea for donations for pet supplies, dry and wet dog and cat food, and crates for people that need to relocate to shelters.”

According to Simmons, at least 47% of people leave their animals under dire circumstances.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue is based out of Palm Beach County and plans to move endangered dogs back to its grounds in Loxahatchee Groves while also handing out supplies to both shelters and families of pets in need.

To donate to Big Dog Ranch Rescue’s efforts, visit their website.