When a natural disaster like Hurricane Irma comes roaring across sunny Florida, people flee. Many pack up and leave the state entirely. Others, especially the elderly, often don’t have the means or physical ability to get out. And these individuals turn to emergency shelters.
If those shelters don’t accommodate pets, however, it leaves Florida senior citizens and their beloved companion animals to fend for themselves.
A new study finds that older Floridians — those 65 years and up – struggle to evacuate from life-threatening emergencies like hurricanes when they have pets. There just aren’t enough nearby shelters that can take in elderly people if they’re bringing an animal.
Florida is the state most likely to be hit by hurricanes. And it’s also the state with the oldest percentage of the population. That turns out to be a deadly combination every time a bad storm strikes.
We the undersigned ask that the State of Florida make more of its shelters pet-friendly. It is totally unfair to require people, especially the elderly, to leave their animal companions behind.