Dogs affected by Hurricane Irma arrive in Williamsburg for adoption

jojacobs@vagazette.com

Humans weren’t the only ones to suffer as a result of Hurricane Imra. Dogs affected by the storm are now looking for new homes in Williamsburg.

Local nonprofits Homes Fur Hounds and the Heritage Humane Society have coordinated with Miami-Dade Animal Shelter in Florida to bring at least 15 small-breed dogs to Williamsburg for adoption.

The first four dogs arrived Sept. 20, with the rest expected to arrive in the coming days. Dogs are expected to be available for adoption through both Homes Fur Hounds and Heritage Humane Society by the end of this week, Hounds Fur Homes President Deanna Cosby said.

“We’re going to take as many as the two of us can take,” Cosby said. “There’s hundreds of them still down there trying to find homes.”

The Heritage Humane Society set up a tent to raise awareness about the dogs at A Taste of High Street on Saturday. The dogs are a range of ages, genders and breeds.

The dogs have traveled a difficult road. Some were tied to fences, trees or left in cars during the storm. After the storm, two dogs died of heat stroke while being prepared for transport, Cosby said.

The Florida shelter and Richmond-based groups have had a working relationship for several years, shuttling dogs between them in an attempt to improve the dogs’ chances of adoption. That relationship set the stage for a pipeline to allow dogs to escape areas affected by Hurricane Irma after the storm hit Florida earlier this month.

One of those Richmond-based organizations, For the Love of Poodles Rescue, knew Cosby and could direct some dogs to Homes Fur Hounds. Homes Fur Hounds in turn teamed up with Heritage Human Society to provide another avenue for the dogs to find new homes, Cosby said.

The organizations expect more dogs to arrive in the coming weeks as Floridians continue to grapple with the effects of the hurricane.

“I think this could be kind of a process,” Heritage Humane Society Executive Director Kimberly Laska said. “Every few days we get emails with updates and everybody’s kind of been queued to take as needed and as space is available.”

For more information

Homes Fur Hounds: dcosby@homefurhounds.com.

Heritage Humane Society: info@heritagehumanesociety.org.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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