Palm Beach County expected to press charges against owners who abandoned pets during hurricane

As Hurricane Irma barreled up the coast of Florida, some dog and cat owners tied their pets to poles, picnic tables and cages along the side of the road and simply abandoned them.  Now Animal Care and Control officers in Palm Beach County, after finding dozens of dogs dumped just prior to the storm making landfall, are expected to press charges against these heartless owners.

According to Fox News, agency director, Diane Sauve stated there was no excuse for any owner doing this. Even the Florida Department of Health tweeted out a warning on September 10:

“Do not leave your dogs tied up or chained when evacuating. Floodwaters are dangerous for people and pets.”

Could the message have been made any clearer?  Diane and Palm Beach County’s state prosecutor, Dave Aronberg – who happens to be a dog lover too, says they intend to file felony prosecutions against the offenders; calling it a “prime example of animal cruelty.”

“We will find you, and we will prosecute you,” Aronberg stated.

In addition to the abandoned dogs and cats, another 40 pets were surrendered to the shelter. Fortunately volunteers from across the county stepped up to foster the animals. And for the owners who voluntarily surrendered their pets, these people are not allowed to return to the shelter and reclaim them.

“I feel torn about that at times,” stated Diane, “but we are not a boarding facility.”

Two pet friendly shelters in Palm Beach County welcomed owners and pets. Thus far, the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has rescued more than 600 animals in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina after Hurricane Irma.

“The ASPCA stands ready to assist animals in Hurricane Irma’s path, but the first and best line of defense for a pet will always be a well-prepared owner,” the organization posted on Facebook.

Many thanks to the unsung heroes who become the voices for those who cannot speak.

(Photo via screenshot Yahoo)

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.


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20 replies
  1. Sherry D Hadley says:

    Well, you go, Prosecutor Aronberg and Palm Beach County! So refreshing to see a prosector take animal cruelty seriously and make it a priority. Because it is an overlooked area of the law. Animals are not protected as they should be. Glad to see they care and are taking action!

    Reply
  2. ellen cottone says:

    brace your self,
    in the wake of the flood.
    all evil will be reveled and reviled.

    All the brutal back wood slaughter houses of west miami and texas and the flooded south.
    all illigal puppy mills, all the illegal fight kennel’s, all the illegal shelters with the soul purpose of supplying animals for lab testing. all of it and more.
    because one day a real rain came and washed all the scum out of the back wood.
    Thank god for the rain to wash the trash off the side walk.
    Get ready people to stand and deliver. stand fast and get ready to yell like mad. we do not want rescue and euth. we have to divi up these rescues with in the states inflicted by flood and evaporation.we each her need to petition our state reps to demand transport to states not in the mitts of reconstruction. this will not be a repeat of Katrina and all the dogs rescued were euthanized with out advocate and positive solution. we have to demand sanctuary. get ready to scream it in the streets friends.
    the revelations will unfold as these criminals apply for aid and have to have their property inspected.
    and the shit will hit the fan.mark my word and put it on your calendar. it stops now

    Reply
  3. Susan M. Bissell says:

    I am glad the law has made it a felony for people abandoning their pets during a natural disaster, especially the people who tied up and chained their abandon pets to suffer a terrible death of drowning in flood waters.

    Reply
  4. Pamela Garlisch says:

    I hope they don’t just sweep this under the rug after everything is over. Would love to hear about owners who are actually prosecuted.

    Reply
  5. Barkley's Mom says:

    When they were evacuating people, it was heartwarming to hear the many shelters that were allowing people to bring their pets with them. And yet, some people left their pets behind to fend for themselves without so much as a care as to what would happen to them! Yes do prosecute them, there was NO excuse for this at all!

    Reply
  6. ellen cottone says:

    there isnt a rug dry enough or big enough in all of florida to sweep any of this under. i couldn’t care less about the guilty parties . living and breathing in the moment.
    I would love to hear that all lost and neglected animals have been rescued and have food, water and shelter and on their way to a new home. im not going to hold my breath in the conviction of the massive dump from owners who just couldnt care less.
    whats happening rite now is a scramble for legislation from politicians and the backing of the voices and moral outrage. laws will go into effect from this event on. and thats what i expect to happen now.

    Reply
    • Mark says:

      I doubt there is going to be that many convictions if any. The anger will subside as time goes by, however, it would be nice if all were convicted to set an example.

      Reply
      • ellen cottone says:

        convictions mean nothing. laws would have to been in place before hand.
        They were not.
        what is important is all rescue of strays as well as abandoned outside dog’s will be logged chipped and the properties and owners will be entered into a data base. this is the beginning of change for animals.
        we are going for anyone who does not meet the standards of dog’s health and well being.
        I will hope these people can not own a dog to exploit and neglect.

        And no one will be handed a dog with reproduction intact. those days are over.
        The anger will not subside you are referring to the days before the internet.
        this is the game changer . this is where it all changes for animals.
        Hell, yea it does!!

      • Mark says:

        No I am not referring to the days before the internet. You obviously misunderstood me. Btw I was responding to your use of the word conviction.

      • ellen cottone says:

        sorry Mark I am a logical person.
        conviction is not the answer.
        a data base for references to stop neglectful owners from new dog ownership.
        that s better then conviction.
        in 2017 nobody’s anger subsides because the internet is a tool of the constant living in the moment. un like last century nothing ever disapears.
        trust me this changes everything

      • Mark says:

        ellen, I hope they will follow up to charging these dog owners. What I should have explained in further detail was I that I hope their anger(Animal Care & Control officers in Palm Beach County) to charge these owners does not diminish and will not be forgotten since they have a lot on their plate during and since the hurricane. The internet does not always bring positive results. You can’t always trust what one sees and reads on the internet. Goodwill to you and keep on commenting my friend. As I remember way back we were flirting..lol.

      • ellen cottone says:

        Yes , I do believe we were stuck on an elevator together ,with friends Haaa!!
        aw, that was that summer we all spent getting to know our particular crazy,
        before 6th grade. when we was kids. I can see we have all come along way. friend.
        I believe i gave you a book reading exercise that would change your life and answer many questions. do you remember!? or is it one of my “thought i told”?

  7. Helen says:

    Track down the owners who abandoned their pets and prosecute them at the fullest extent of the law.
    These heartless owners should reimburse the cost of rescuing and rehoming their pets, and going forward not allow to have any living pets.

    Reply
  8. Linda Szymoniak says:

    Good. My youngest daughter drove up from Naples to NW Indiana – with her dog and two cats – to get away from the hurricane. She left two other vehicles behind and most of her worldly goods – just took her furbabies, what clothes and necessities she could fit into her trunk, and of course important papers and such. She lucked out that her place didn’t get flooded and the one tree that fell onto the duplex she rents didn’t do any damage. I know of other people who refused to leave their furbabies and stayed with them, or slept in their vehicles when they couldn’t find a hotel that would let them bring the pets inside. There are ALWAYS options. Anyone who could just chain up or crate their pets and then leave them to very possibly drown – or worse – needs to be charged (and be banned from having any other animals in their care).

    Reply
  9. Pamela Bolton says:

    Hats off to the prosecutors! Make the punishment severe enough that they will think twice about doing it again. Make it possible that when the people are rescued they can take their pets as well. Make it mandatory that hotels and other rescue havens take pets as well. Me, if I can’t take my dogs, I don’t go either. They are family as well. Prosecute ALL of them No slaps on the wrist. Make it count

    Reply
  10. paula calabrese says:

    this should have been done along time ago. where i go my pets go with me i am fro new jersey my pets are my family we were hit by hurricane sandy the humane society helped me out a lot My pets are my family. these heartless people who abandon their animals shouldn’t t have them. Why Bother. if its that much of an effort to get help during a disaster. why bother having them,,,,,,

    Reply
  11. Jacqueline Kenny says:

    Have her starve then put a gourmet meal out of her reach. Let her suffer the smell of a delicious meal keeping her out of reach. You cruel dispicable woman you should never be allowed near another animal ????

    Reply
    • ellen cottone says:

      ha ha,
      i think i know who your talking about.
      brentwood long island ny. was having a bar be q with a dead dog and her 5 emaciated puppied babies.
      she just decided to cut off food suply and chain to a tree.and she was having a back yard party , while the dogs were starving around the family.and someone called and told on her mean evil stink face. Dont worry about she and the people who turned a blind eve to this.
      the dogs were rescued and she will have hell on earth and it will follow her into the next life time.

      Reply

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