Today’s Editorial: Support pet hurricane shelter

Pet owners dread hurricane season, more so probably than those who don’t have domesticated animals living with them.

The decision of what to do with your pets during a hurricane can be gut-wrenching, especially for those who live near the sea and in areas prone to flooding from surge.

The problem arises because hurricane shelters won’t take pets.

There is limited space at government-run hurricane shelters and it is devoted to humans, not animals.

The rules are understandable, especially to anyone who has had to seek shelter for an extended period of time at one of the facilities.

But for those who own pets, the rules mean that they often put themselves in harms way by not evacuating because they don’t want to leave their pets behind.

That, too, is understandable, but it’s dangerous when people put their own lives at risk for the sake of their pets’ lives.

The Cayman Islands Humane Society realizes this plight and is making an attempt to do something about it.

Co-director of the Hurricane Pet Shelter Kathleen Bodden-Harris, has a plan for a facility that would care for dogs, cats and rabbits. Hamsters are under consideration.

Her plans are to house the shelter on Crown land adjacent to the prison. Kennels are already on site and are not being used.

So the idea is there and the kennels are is there.

What’s needed now is about $30,000 for a building.

To that end Mrs. Bodden-Harris is hard at work trying to raise funds for the hurricane pet shelter.

We believe there are enough pet owners and animal lovers in the Cayman Islands who could help Mrs. Bodden-Harris realise her dream of a safe haven for pets during severe storms.

If you wish to donate, write a cheque to the Cayman Islands Humane Society (note on the cheque that it is for the Hurricane Pet Shelter fund).

Mail the cheque to the Humane Society at PO Box 1167 GT, or drop it by the Society’s office on North Sound Road, before the Butterfield Bank roundabout.

US citizens wishing to make a tax-exempt donation to this cause can mail cheques to:

Friends of the Cayman Islands Humane Society

Tax ID#/ EIN# 522376265

7012 Union Avenue

Cleveland, Ohio

44105

A hurricane shelter for pets is badly needed in the Cayman Islands.

No longer should pet owners jeopardize their own lives for the sake of their pets’ lives.

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