Thriving Cat

How To Help Pets in Hurricane Florence

How To Help Pets In Hurricane Florence

Here are animal shelters taking pets ahead of Hurricane Florence, what you can do to help, and lists of Public Shelters in Virginia and the Carolinas taking pets along with their owners. Scroll to the end to see lists of shelters. Animal shelters are already preparing for Hurricane Florence as it heads towards the southeast states. Shelters are being emptied if possible ahead of the storm to make room for displaced pets. The ASPCA has assisted with moving 1,200 pets ahead of the storm already. They plan to have response teams, boats and trailers with supplies ready by noon Thursday to move pets in need. Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is based in Ashville but responds to disasters all around the Southeast. They are evacuating dogs and cats out of the area. They moved 21 dogs from a shelter in Horry South Carolina to New York and will now move the cats. Other shelters like Coastal Animal Rescue south of Myrtle Beach are already full and shelter staff plan to stay at the shelter with the animals throughout the storm. Big Fluffy Dog Rescue traveled 20 hours from Nashville to rescue the pets at a Pawleys Island shelter. These are just some examples of shelters all across the area preparing for Hurricane Florence. If you want to know how to help pets in Hurricane Florence, here are some of the shelters taking pets and needing assistance.

Waived Adoption Fees, Fosters Needed

This week Brother Wolf Animal Rescue will waive adoption fees for all pets other than puppies. Please consider adopting a pet if you can at this time in order to make room in shelters for pets that will become lost or lose their homes during the storm. There are many, cute pets available there. You could also foster a pet during the storm. The shelter has 150 pets per day at the facility.

Camp Bow Wow in South Asheville has waived the deposit to board pets during the storm. It is situated on a hill and hopefully will be out of the way of flood waters.

In Chattanooga Tennessee the McKamey Animal Shelter is taking pets from the affected areas and hoping to get pets adopted or for people to foster them to make more room in the shelter.

The Greenville Human Society in Greenville South Carolina is taking dogs and cats from coastal shelters and expects more to keep coming. They also need people to adopt or foster pets. There is an adoption special with reduced rates for adoption.

Emergency Shelters For Hurricane Florence That Accept Pets

Shelters in Virginia Accepting Pets

Chesapeake-there is one pet only shelter. You can not stay there but you can bring your pet. All shelters in the area will open evening of Sept. 12th.

Hampton-Bethel High School-opened Tuesday, Sept. 11th.

Newport News- Warwick High School. Will open 12 PM Sept. 12th. Owners must stay there with their pets and bring all supplies for pets.

Norfolk-Bayview Recreation Center, also Berkley Community Center

Portsmoth-Churchland Middle School on River Shore Road. Will open 1 PM Sept. 12th.

Suffolk- Nansemond River High School, ADA compliant.

Virginia Beach- Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center on Birdneck Road will board pets.

Shelters in North Carolina Accepting Pets

Brunswick County, Berkeley County Animal Shelter

Brunswick, West Brunswick High School, Whiteville Road.

Carteret County, Newport Middle School

Catawba County, Shelters will open if necessary.

Charlotte, Animal Care and Control will set up pet shelters at Red Cross Evacuation Shelters if necessary.

Chowan, pets not allowed but dog shelters may be set up.

Forsyth County, the Forsyth County Animal Response Plan will address need and open shelters as necessary.

New Hanover County, the New Hanover Animal Control Services will shelter pets for free.

New Hanover, New Hanover Middle School and an additional Elementary or Middle School to be announced later.

Onslow County, Jacksonville Commons Middle School

Orange County, Animal Services will board pets at shelter. Also Smith Middle School and

South Carolina Public Shelters Do Not Accept Pets, here are resources.

Public Shelters in South Carolina do not accept pets.

Look for shelters for your pet while you stay at a public shelter yourself.

Look for Pet friendly hotels,

Check out this list of pet shelters and sites for horses and livestock in South Carolina. Pet Friendly Travel list of Shelters and Pet Evacuation in South Carolina.

Keeping Pets Calm While Traveling

If you have to evacuate with your cat or you go to adopt or foster a cat, there will likely be stress for the pet. Cats don’t travel well and need some assistance to stay calm and feel safe. I highly recommend this all natural, human grade supplement for a calming/sedative affect. It is called Lick’s ZEN Calming Aid. It is made with natural tryptophan (found in foods like turkey). This would be my choice for travelling with a pet. They make a variety for dogs as well.

For general calming for moving into a new home, introducing a new pet or soothing an anxious cat that might have bad behaviors due to stress (like peeing where they are not supposed to), please try this natural spray from Jackson Galaxy. I use this every single day on my rescued boy and he is wonderful. For a cat that just needs a little calming while traveling this would be perfect and is easier to use than the Lick’s ZEN.

What You Can Do to Help

The best thing you can do to help the pets of Hurricane Florance if you are in a position to help, is to foster a pet for the duration of the storm or adopt a pet now to make room in the shelters. There is always an influx of pets in who become lost, abandoned or lose their homes in a major disaster. Check out any animal shelters in the area and see if you can adopt a pet, foster a pet or volunteer. Shelter staff and volunteers work round the clock during disasters to take care of animals in shelters and rescue those in need. Any help would be appreciated as well as donations of money, food and supplies. Check out the shelters listed at the top of this post or any others in your local area. Shelters all over the country will be taking affected pets. Even when there isn’t a disaster, millions of wonderful pets die in shelters every year in the U.S. All my pets are rescues and they are intelligent, affectionate and gorgeous. Most pets in shelters are there through no fault of their own and just need a good owner to love them.

Me and my calico kitty girl

My Rescued Calico Girl




  1. Karen

    This is such a kind and thoughtful post during a very stressful time as people prepare for the hurricane! It provides very good information and gives people a resource to go to. The list of shelters is particularly helpful. Wishing all the best for the pets in the hurricanes path! May they be safe!

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you very much Karen. I hope people foster pets or volunteer at shelters if they are out of harm’s way themselves. I hope everyone with pets is able to evacuate with their pets or find good temporary shelters for them as well! With preparation there is no need for the many homeless pets after these storms.


  2. David

    Fantastic article. A much needed one right now that’s for sure. It’s so nice all these shelters doing everything in their power to keep animals safe during this time of emergency. Thank for your very caring heart to write this article. People tend to not think about animals but with your help they won’t be left behind.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you very much David. If people can take their pets with them to shelters or find good temporary shelters I will be happy. I hope others who are out of the path of the storm will volunteer or foster pets from local shelters as well. If everyone helps there is no need for pets to go homeless in these storms!


  3. Bailey

    Thank you for sharing this important information. I can only imagine how stressful a hurricane must be for both humans and animals. It really breaks my heart that so many animals are dying in shelters and people still keep breeding them. Those animals all deserve happy homes, and adopting them is a wonderful thing to do.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you Bailey,
      I completely agree with you. There are millions of beautiful, loving pets in shelters that need a good home and people still think they need to buy a something-doodle for thousands of dollars from a breeder. The whatever-doodle is just a mutt! There are even purebreds in shelters! I have what appear to be a French Chartreux and a Norwegian Forest Cat both from the pound!

      Thank you for your comments,

  4. Desa

    God bless you Jessica! This is such a timely post and you are so kind to research and provide this information so thoroughly. I know you are right about that calming stuff too. I have bookmarked your site and look forward to future posts.

    My own newest pet is an 8-year-old kitty from a shelter. She is the most perfect pet ever and so loving, it is just that the elderly lady who loved her into being the little angel she was had to go into a nursing home and was no longer capable of caring for her. EVERY pet we get in the future will certainly be adopted if they are available to be. And can’t wait to have a home to foster a couple more!

    If I were to make a donation, which of the above shelters you mentioned do you think needs it most urgently?

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Desa,
      Thank you so much! Yes, those are dinnerplate dahlias. With good sunlight here in the summer they grow well. They are one of my favorite flowers.

      As for donating to an animal shelter, I am sure there are many animal shelters in the affected states. I am not very familiar with that part of the country so I am not sure which ones will need the most help. From what I read so far, I would donate to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. They seem to go above and beyond and really help a lot of pets but they are not one of the large national groups that would get extra funding.

      The kitty in the picture at the bottom of my post is 14 years old and we just adopted her a few months ago. She is such a sweetie! She is extremely intelligent. I can tell her to go do things, like drink water or go to the box and she will! She is incredibly healthy as well. She is also a polydactile. Nobody wanted her due to her age!

      If you are interested, here are a few more of my posts on immunity and tooth health supplements:

      Thank you so much for considering a donation to the affected shelters in this storm and for adopting and possibly fostering yourself!

  5. Andrea Davidson

    Thank you for this article. I know a few people here in Pennsylvania who are driving to pick up cats and dogs in preparation for Hurricane Florence. My blessings to all those affected by the storm and prayers that humans and animals stay safe.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you Andrea. I wish I lived closer so I could help myself. There is no reason for pets to suffer if everyone works to plan for their safety!

  6. Heather

    This is such a great post, I have been watching Hurricane Florence very closely and i am wondering if me and my pets will get evacuated. This post is definitely a wonderful resource of what you need to know. I see two shelters that are near my area just in case. Thanks again for compiling this information, many will need it.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Heather,

      I am so glad you found this useful and have shelters near your area just in case. I hope you are in a safe area and don’t have to evacuate! Stay safe and good luck!

  7. Andrew A.

    First of all, let me tell you that this is a lovely post by a kind-hearted human being.
    It is good know there are people like you who take care of our beloved pets even in an emergency situation.
    Thanks for sharing detailed, valuable information, I will share this blog with anyone looking for pet shelters, in the areas affected by the hurricane.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you so much Andrew. I always want pets to be taken care of and adopted out of shelters but in this case there is a whole additional mission to help people in affected areas and their pets. I hope everyone in the region has a plan to take care of their pets or if not, they can get to one of these shelters. For everyone else not threatened by the storm, I hope they will consider fostering a pet from a local shelter and volunteering.

      Thank you for stopping by and for sharing this information!


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