Abandoned In Irma

Naomi Metoyer

OwlFeed Journalist

It is no secret that the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Harvey have robbed the lives of so many people in the Atlantic, but few have acknowledged the tragedy that has befallen the pet life during this trying time.

Thousands of people have fled for their lives in the midst of flood, destruction, and fear. Many of these people have left their animals to fates they would not wish upon themselves or any other human being.

unnamed.pngTied to trees, trapped in cages, locked in houses. These are not the fatal states of the people of Harvey or Irma, this is the fate of countless animal lives, set upon them by the very ones meant to be responsible for them.

As of September 10th, Florida’s Department of Health has made announcements through social media outlets such as Twitter, urging owners not to leave their animals to their own fate as the floodwaters and winds are as fatal to them as any human.

Florida’s federal government seeks to raise enough support to charge individuals who abandoned their pets with a felony. This case means to account for the numerous deaths created by pet owners who refused to care for their animals. Fox News specifies that Palm Beach County is especially adamant in pressing charges against these owners.

Victims are said to have known of the coming hurricane well before the real mayhem began, yet so many still defend the claims that ensurance of animal protection was of little priority in the rush to evacuate.

With knowledge of what was to come to pass, why did so many refuse to prepare a safe environment for the very lives they vowed to protect?

These animals, as alive as any of us, were adopted into a home. They were named and housed, fed and cared for. Many were the same age or younger than the children of many hurricane victims. They were taken into a family, and when in need of a family most, left to the unforgivable mercy of mother nature.

Would we leave our children, our mothers, our siblings to such a fate? Was it too much to burden the inconvenience of a crowded car? Was the replaceable values of material life worth more than the value of a living soul?

These animals give us loyalty, protection, and love. Why is it that we cannot give them the same in return?