Animals rescued from Hurricane Dorian find refuge in Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Animals rescued from the Carolinas have now arrived in Chicago.

The Anti-Cruelty Society just got 100 animals from South Carolina as of Thursday morning, as communities there are already overwhelmed with flooding and the rain is still falling.

Local shelters are hoping they can help a little bit by giving 89 animals from Myrtle Beach refuge in Chicago.

"These people woke up at the crack of dawn [Thursday] to get here to work this and make sure that every animal coming off the truck has a set of loving arms to greet them here in Chicago," said David Dinger, VP of operations for the Anti-Cruelty Society.

63 cats and 26 dogs arrived by truck after a 15 hour trip to escape Hurricane Dorian's path.

"What's special is that we have the capacity to do this, to save animals from Greenville County, South Carolina," said Anti-Cruelty Society President Tracy Elliott.

The organization got the call from animal care officials on Sunday night as they searched for a place to take animals before the massive storm hit.

"Think about the fact if we weren't able to do this what would they do," Elliot said. "There just is no other alternative. Those animals would be in danger. Then when the storm is over and all the stray animals come in that would have been displaced by the storm, and their families are trying to find them and look for them, they'd have no place to go."

Thursday the animals, stressed from a long trip from the south, were processed into the downtown shelter. They received vaccinations and medical exams so they can be placed into foster homes to rest. Then ultimately they'll be adopted into loving families in Chicago.

"They are Chicagoans now and forever," said Dinger. "They'll lose their southern accents."

"It wasn't too many years ago we would not have had the capacity to do this. We would be full, but again, we are able to do this today and help these animals and help that shelter clear because of 40 years of really hard work," said Elliott.

Forty-five animals will go to foster families immediately, while the rest remain at the shelter until they can be adopted out.

Some can be adopted as soon as this weekend.
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