South Carolina residents take in needy animals ahead of Hurricane Florence

PHOTO: Laura Gretch, Humane Rescue Alliance transport manager, holds Frances, an 8 year-old Chihuahua mix as she helps unload 26 cats and dogs arriving at Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, Sept. 11, 2018, from Norfolk Animal Care and Control.PlayCarolyn Kaster/AP
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Many South Carolina residents were working to secure a safe shelter for themselves as Hurricane Florence made its way inland, but some also took time to think about the homeless animals in the area who could be in danger.

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The Animal Society in Charleston, South Carolina, was closed on Friday as the dangerous hurricane came ashore, but it gave its social media followers a reason to smile when it shared heart-warming photos from pre-storm adoptions.

"In this stressful time of waiting to see what Hurricane Florence has in store for our community, I thought it might be sweet to post one of the last adoptions we did before we closed on Wednesday," the shelter said in a Facebook post early Friday. "Look at this happy face! She told me this baby will be sleeping in my bed during the storm!"

The shelter said it evacuated 62 dogs "out of harm's way" and planned to evacuate 25 kittens and four bunnies before the week’s end, according to its website. It had more than 550 animals in its care as of Thursday.

"We are standing by and ready to support Tri-County emergency pet shelters for the public," the Animal Society said. "We expect most of the evacuations and other responses will increase with flooding over the next week or so, at which time, CAS will serve as a regional staging area for supplies, etc."

It said residents should put their safety first, but "let's not forget our animals as this dangerous storm approaches."

Other shelters in the storm path made appeals to the public this week, asking residents to open their homes to pets in need ahead of the hurricane.

PHOTO: A long-haired tabby cat pushes against the crate door during the unloading of 26 cats and dogs from a van at Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, Sept. 11, 2018, from Norfolk Animal Care and Control of Norfolk, Va.Carolyn Kaster/AP
A long-haired tabby cat pushes against the crate door during the unloading of 26 cats and dogs from a van at Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, Sept. 11, 2018, from Norfolk Animal Care and Control of Norfolk, Va.

PHOTO: Dogs are being evacuated from the Dorchester Paws animal shelter, as residents prepare ahead of Hurricane Florences descent in Summerville, S.C., Sept. 11, 2018.Dorchester Paws via Reuters
Dogs are being evacuated from the Dorchester Paws animal shelter, as residents prepare ahead of Hurricane Florence's descent in Summerville, S.C., Sept. 11, 2018.

Saving Grace, an animal shelter in Wake Forest, North Carolina, said people in its community came together to help house more than 120 dogs who were still "waiting for their forever homes."

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SLIDESHOW: PHOTOS: Cleanup begins in the areas damaged by Hurricane Florence

"We are grateful for those individuals in our community who stepped up yesterday to open their homes to 124 Saving Grace dogs," the shelter said Thursday. "All these dogs came to us in need, some from evacuated shelters this week and some have been with us prior to 'Florence' waiting for their forever homes.

"We may have a small shelter but our volunteers and the difference they make in the lives of many is huge," it added.

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