Animals displaced by Irene

Published 12:47 am Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mary McDonald, a staff member with Beaufort County Animal Control, introduces one of Hurricane Irene’s victims — a beagle mix housed at the county animal shelter near Washington. (WDN Photo/Jonathan Clayborne)

Beaufort County animal-control officers have taken in 25 animals they suspect may have been displaced by Hurricane Irene.

The animals, mostly dogs, were found roaming last week after the storm, said Sandy Woolard, chief animal-control officer.

“They’re very friendly,” Woolard said. “Some of them have collars, but no identification.”

Storm victims whose cats or dogs are missing are asked to call the county’s animal-control office at 252-946-4517.

The 25 animals were being housed at the Betsy Bailey Nelson Animal Control Facility off U.S. Highway 264 east of Washington.

The shelter is open to the public from 1 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Woolard said staff is waiving the normal $15 fee to reclaim animals affected by the hurricane, though a boarding fee may be charged.

“If it’s due to the storm, we’re not going to charge them anything,” she said.

The storm-scattered animals were found last week as county officers and staff with the American Humane Association searched the county looking for pets displaced by Irene’s winds and floods, Woolard explained.

The Humane Association sent five people to the area to help search for and care for uprooted pets, she said.

“They really helped us a lot,” Woolard said.

The county animal shelter also housed around 28 animals for people who fled to local emergency shelters. These pets were housed free of charge, and seven of them were still being boarded at the shelter as of Tuesday afternoon.

“As long as the human shelters are open, we’re open as well for their pets,” Woolard said.

One of the found cats had an eye injury, and the eye had to be removed, according to Mary McDonald, a staff member at the shelter.

The cat, treated at Pamlico Animal Hospital, was up for adoption, McDonald said.

A dog, a yellow Labrador mix, that was brought in had a leg injury, she said.

“We’re taking care of her,” McDonald pointed out, and the leg appeared to have healed well by Tuesday.