AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) Get on the bus Gus, Rover, and Fido, as Augusta’s Animal Services prepares for pets getting out of the way of a hurricane.
“Our mutual aid agreement with Chatham County is that we can house up to five hundred animals they will be bused from Chatham County along with their animals here,” says Priscilla Crisler the Kennel Manager at Augusta Animal Services.
The plan is to house the refugee pets here at the livestock barn at the Fairgrounds,
“We agreed to be an evacuation center in case it was needed for people who are disabled primarily who have pets,” said Joe Taylor the Fair Manager.
This would be the first time the pet evacuation agreement would be put action brining as many as 500 dogs and cats to Augusta.
“We hope a number smaller than that it will stretch staff and volunteers thin to have to have five hundred pets but we will do what we have to do,” says Crisler.
“We will need help but we have a data base of volunteers on board we asking that people not just show up they need to contact the shelter, says Sharon Broady Director of Augusta Animal Services.
It may not be luxury accommodations but it will be for the evacuees shelter from the storm but only for the pets.
“They can stay with them but it’s not recommend that they house themselves there just so they come in take care of their pets walk them spend time with them that sort of thing,” says Crisler.
Pets could be coming to the fairgrounds but in nine days so is the fair.
“If this hurricane was a week behind where it is now it would have been a serious problem for them and for us,” said Taylor.
The pet owners will be able to use the buses that brought them to Augusta to get to the fairgrounds to take care of their pets.
The fairgrounds is only taking pets that arrive by bus from Chatham County self-evacuees will be on their own,
Augusta Animal Services will be staffing the fairground shelters vaccinating for rabies if needed so there will be overtime costs for the city
And at the city shelter the department will change its rules and will not be accepting owner surrenders if there is an evacuation.