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Humane society gives space to animals displaced by hurricane
Animals will be sent back after storm has passed
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The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia has taken in 17 dogs from the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society in Port St. Joe, Fla., which evacuated its facility due to the threat of flooding from Hurricane Isaac.

With Hurricane Isaac closing in on the Gulf Coast, some have evacuated the area — and that includes 17 dogs from Port St. Joe, Fla.

The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia has taken in the animals from the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society.

Rick Aiken, executive director of the local humane society, said he was contacted by Gary Gibbs, a board member of the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society.

Gibbs is a former resident of Hall County and was instrumental in helping to build the current shelter 12 years ago.

“We’re glad to help out this shelter in their time of need,” Aiken said in a news release.

The animals were evacuated from their shelter because there was a threat of flooding and damage from storm swells.

The shelter had a total of 63 animals to be evacuated.

The dogs arrived in Gainesville on Monday afternoon after an eight-hour road trip.

“We don’t know exactly how long they’re going to be with us,” said Julie Edwards, director of development and marketing at the local humane society. “It is really going to depend on the storm and what happens at their facility.”

The animals won’t be up for adoption while in Gainesville and will be sent back once the storm has passed.

Edwards said taking in the extra animals won’t make much of a difference for the kennel staff who are used to working with as many as 150-200 animals on any given day.

Food was provided for the dogs by their home shelter.

However, the extra animals will make more work for the Wolf Pack, the volunteers who take the large dogs on walks every day.

“They’re trying to get out 40 or 50 large dogs that need to get out and have some out-of-kennel time for about 30 minutes apiece; that’s a long day,” Edwards said.

It’s important for the dogs to get outside of the kennel for a little while every day because it gives them a chance to socialize with people and burn off some of their energy, she said.

Edwards said she hopes more people will come by the shelter to help walk the dogs.

The humane society can be contacted at 770-532-6617.

“We would appreciate any help with walking,” Aiken said.

“We have an awesome volunteer team but we currently have 30-plus large dogs in the shelter in addition to the 17 animals we took in who will need daily exercise time.”

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