By Denise Deisler

When the Jacksonville Humane Society (JHS) first learned that the forecast indicated Hurricane Dorian would hit the east coast of Florida, they began planning and preparing. During the last two hurricanes to hit Florida, a neighboring community’s shelter had flooded out and put animals at great risk. This time, JHS took action well in advance of the storm by arranging the evacuation of that shelter and transport of their animals to shelters out of harm’s way. JHS was able to evacuate some of their own animals on the same transport – in total 43 cats and 19 dogs. The following day, JHS put out a plea for community members to foster animals during the hurricane. On Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend, 140 cats and 70 dogs went into homes to ride out the hurricane with their Storm Trooper foster families!

Photo of Transport Preprations

Melony, FeLV cat, with her foster-to-permanent Mom.

Photo of “Storm Troopers” lining up outside to give foster the dogs

One woman who came to JHS to foster a dog decided to foster a FeLV positive cat named Melony after she learned all of the dogs had already gone into foster homes. She fell in love with the cat and adopted her! We are grateful to our animal loving community. By responding to our pleas for help, animals rode out the storm in loving arms in the comfort of a home and JHS was positioned to help respond to those directly impacted by the hurricane. We are equally grateful to dedicated volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly through the holiday weekend to ensure nearly 250 animals were prepared for transport and foster in order that they remain safe and comfortable.

Denise Deisler is the  CEO of the Jacksonville Humane Society.  To help JHS, please visit their website: