Md. rescue takes in animals evacuated from hurricane's path

Animals from areas in Mississippi that are being evacuated . Courtesy: Last Chance Animal Rescue

For a group of puppies and dogs at the Last Chance Animal Rescue in Waldorf, Maryland, their trip north is a second chance.

“I feel like, ‘Oh my God, we have to do something!’ Because it seems so unfair,” said Cynthia Sharpley, Director of Last Chance Animal Rescue.

Sharpley says it’s unfair for the animals impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

“The shelters—what do you do? You have to leave,” she said of the areas that need to evacuate because of the storm. “You can’t leave the animals in the cage. You can’t take them with you because there’s too many. So, unfortunately, they are doing mass euthanasias.”

The Humane Society of the United States couldn’t confirm that that is happening. They released this statement:

“The Humane Society of the United States has been working with the City of Corpus Christi for the last 48 hours to coordinate the safe transport of animals in the city out of Harvey’s path and to safety, and have received confirmation that all the animals at the Corpus Christi animal shelter have been removed and are safe. We are very grateful to the dozens of shelters and rescues across the state who stepped up to make that possible and are standing by to help more. We have heard reports that some shelters have euthanized their current animals, but we have been unable to get confirmation of that occurring. We hope it is not true, because we are now in a position in our country where shelters all over nation are willing to help take in animals from natural disasters, and have multiple transport options available, including air. If that did occur it’s an absolute travesty and there is no excuse. There are groups that have sent or are in the process of sending hundreds of animals out of the area to safety, and we’re working with local groups to assist as well. We’re hearing there are groups that are planning to ride out the storm, and we strongly encourage these groups to reach out to us and local authorities for assistance. For individual pet owners, please make sure that if you’re evacuating to take your pet with you, and if you’re in a position to help the animal organizations in the path of the hurricane please look at their social media and websites for ways to help.
-Sára Varsa , Senior Director, The Animal Rescue Team, The Humane Society of the United States”

“It makes us all feel like we want to cry. And then we want to do something,” Sharpley said.

A staffer from the Last Chance Animal Rescue is in the area helping out. They are also planning to take a truck packed with food and supplies to those impacted. They’re planning to bring back as many animals from areas in the hurricane’s path as they can.

On Wednesday, about 80 dogs and puppies arrived at the rescue and they expect to get about 100 more. Sharpley says they need people to volunteer as fosters and to give the pups a new home so they can clear space to save even more.

“They just need help,” Sharpley said, holding a puppy. “And we need everyone’s help to help them.”

Sharpley says they will have hundreds of animals, some from areas affected by the hurricane, up for adoption at an adoption event on September 16 at PetSmart in Columbia, Maryland.

Workers at Last Chance Animal Rescue ask anyone interesting in fostering an animal to reach out via email: or by phone: 240-412-5751. You can also find out more information on their Facebook page:

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