How to Help the Animals Affected by Hurricane Idalia · The Wildest

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How to Help the Animals Affected by Hurricane Idalia

Rescue organizations are in need of donations and adoptions after the storm.

by Sio Hornbuckle
September 1, 2023
Wings of Rescue transporting kitten in crate in response to Hurricane Idalia in Florida.
Photo Courtesy of @wingsofrescue
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This Wednesday, Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Florida. With winds of over 120 mph, the Category 3 hurricane was powerful enough to cause extensive damage; the flooding submerged cars and destroyed homes, and over 480,000 people were left without power when the extreme wind downed power lines. Many animals were displaced by the storm, leaving shelters overcrowded and in need of assistance. Some shelters, including Lake City Humane Society and North Florida Animal Rescue, were left completely without power

Thankfully, rescue organizations and shelters from across the country have launched into action to help animals affected by Hurricane Idalia. Efforts were made to relocate animals from damaged shelters — including to shelters multiple states away. “Welcoming and rehoming these 80-plus pets will help our friends in Florida focus on recovering and acting as a resource for nearby damaged and destroyed shelters, as well as local family pets displaced during the storm,” says the Brandywine Valley SPCA, one of the organizations opening their doors to Florida’s animals in need.

The Wildest compiled a list of organizations that are working to help the cats and dogs affected by Idalia, and how you can help them in their mission to keep these animals safe.

Wings of Rescue

Wings of Rescue is an organization leading the most significant disaster relief option for animals: safe, early evacuation. Pets from shelters in Hurricane Idalia’s path were loaded onto planes and flown to shelters miles away, where they now await adoption. Wings of Rescue relies on donations to charter planes and stock veterinary supplies.

Brandywine SPCA

More than 80 pets relocated by Wings of Rescue are now in West Chester, Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley SPCA, where they await adoption. The shelter is in urgent need of adopters and fosters, as well as help covering the financial burden of an influx of animals.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue

On 33 acres, Big Dog Ranch Rescue is the largest cage-free, no-kill dog rescue in the United States. They are accepting animals being relocated from affected Florida shelters, and they are in need of adopters to free up more space. This weekend, they are cutting prices on adoption fees to encourage adoptions. For those who aren’t local or able to adopt, they ask for donations to their Miracle Fund. 

Best Friends

Best Friends is working to coordinate the transfer of cats and dogs from Jacksonville Humane Society to nearby shelters, as well as to deliver necessary supplies to shelters in need. Prior to the hurricane, they helped set up six emergency shelters in Florida.


This Sacramento-based organization is dedicated to bringing “animals out of crisis and [strengthening] the bond between people and animals through emergency sheltering, disaster-relief services, financial assistance, and education.” Their volunteer-led team jumped into action to be on the ground in Florida, saving animals abandoned during evacuations.

Sio Hornbuckle

Sio Hornbuckle is a writer living in New York City with their cat, Toni Collette.

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