Shelter animals displaced by Hurricane Idalia arrive in Berks County

Sep. 3—The impact of a hurricane can be devastating.

Strong winds and floodwaters can rip apart everything in their paths, leaving piles of rubble in their wake. Roads and bridges can be destroyed, power lines can be severed, homes can be leveled.

And that's been the case with Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall in Florida on Wednesday. The Category 3 storm has left thousands of people suddenly homeless.

The same can be said for thousands of pets.

Like their human families, pets can suffer from the destructive impact of hurricanes. And in many cases, they find themselves separated from their owners.

Humane Pennsylvania in Reading is lending a hand in addressing that issue.

The shelter received six dogs and 15 cats that were flown to Pennsylvania from Florida shortly after Idalia's arrival on Thursday evening. In an operation organized by the Brandywine Valley SPCA, the pets were moved out of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay shelter in order to make room for pets made homeless by the storm.

Aida May, the adoptions program manager for Humane Pennsylvania, said all of the pets were in the shelter system prior to Idalia making landfall.

"These animals were up for adoption but needed to be moved so that space would be open for those pets who were separated from their families during the storm," she said.

May said that over the next few days the cats and dogs will be checked out by a veterinarian to ensure they are in good health. She said she expected many of the cats to be up for adoption as early as over the weekend, with the dogs following early this week.

"This is truly giving these animals a second chance they may not have gotten down there," she said, noting that people impacted by the hurricane are likely preoccupied with things other than thinking about adopting a pet.