PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A crowd of volunteers and donors cheered as vans full of animals in need after Hurricane Irma pulled into the parking lot.
“It really says something about whether it’s because of a hurricane or because they for whatever reason found themselves in a shelter, animals just want another chance and want to be loved,” said James McLaughlin from the Portsmouth Humane Society.
The 22 animals are from the Charleston Humane Society. They had to be evacuated to Charleston because of flooding. This is the humane society’s second trip to help animals in need. Over the weekend, they brought back 28 animals who needed to be moved in order to make room for pets in Florida separated from their owners.
“We saw there was still such a huge need we felt okay we need to do more if we can. So we were already formulating a plan to go back,” said McLaughlin. He added they were thrilled to drive to Charleston with a truck full of animal food thanks to generous donations.
They’re partnering with Chesapeake Animal Services, Heritage Humane Society, Suffolk Animal Care and the SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina. There are 22 animals in this second group and the humane society will be keeping four.
“It’s just an amazing feeling working with all these great shelters. Locally and the new friends we’ve made throughout the Charleston area, all of us collectively trying to make a difference,” said McLaughlin.
That’s what made the long drive worth it. McLaughlin said it wasn’t planned, but one of the volunteer’s cars had all the vocal dogs.
“They were singing to her. She did say that when she tried country music it calmed them down for a little, so maybe it was a southern thing,” laughed McLaughlin.
If you would like to adopt one of the animals or want to help, visit the Portsmouth Humane Society’s Facebook page.