MANKATO, Minn. (WCCO) — Shelter dogs that were right in the path of Hurricane Florence are now safely in Minnesota, ready to be adopted.

The Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society (BENCHS) in Mankato is housing four dogs from North Carolina. The pets were evacuated from a shelter ahead of the storm over concerns that the building might be flooded.

“This is the best way that shelters can help each other when there are disasters,” said Laurel Viera, manager at BENCHS.

Viera said a group named Florida Urgent Rescue contacted BENCHS after it went to rural shelters along the east coast to help evacuate animals.

Four dogs named Colton (Rottweiler mix), Brayden (Dutch Shepard), Cline (Hound) and Melody (Labrador mix) were sent to BENCHS last week from a shelter near Fair Bluff, North Carolina, where Hurricane Florence caused severe flooding. The pets were first taken to Georgia, then flown via Delta Airlines to Minnesota. Viera said Delta covers the costs of shipping the animals.

Across North Carolina several pets have also been abandoned and some were luckily rescued.

“Does it make me want to run down there and save everybody? For starters,” said Viera nodding yes.

She knows she can’t do that, but she’s more than happy to house as many hurricane hounds as possible, just like BENCHS did last year during Hurricane Harvey. Viera said Texas already has the highest number of strays.

“We housed 65 dogs and 18 cats in about a week and a half,” Viera said of the Harvey relief effort. “We had people lined up at the doors for fostering, for helping out. I mean this community was phenomenal with that.”

That dedication from local animal lovers has her hopeful that the latest four dogs will find new families in the Bold North.

To learn more about the Hurricane Florence dogs, click here, or call BENCHS at (507) 625-6373.

Jeff Wagner


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