The Humane Society of the United States flew more than 120 dogs and cats to safety before Barry made landfall in Louisiana on Saturday. The nonprofit said all of the animals are up for adoption.
The animals were rescued mostly from St. Landry Animal Care and Control and St. Martin Animal Shelter on Friday, the organization said in a blog post. The shelters are both located near Lafayette — in the path of the storm — and house many of their animals outdoors, making rescue efforts crucial.
The Humane Society said it transported the animals to Virginia to be distributed among various shelter and rescue organizations, including Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, Angels of Assisi, Humane Rescue Alliance, St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA and Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.
Many dogs were also transported to shelters in Georgia and North Carolina, where there will be adoption events this weekend.
Kitty Block, the President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said there will likely be an influx of animals after Barry is over, as there always is after disasters and emergencies, so making room for new rescues is extremely important. Moving animals out of the storm also spares them the distress that comes from loud noises and heavy winds.
The Humane Society is also urging pet owners to make appropriate disaster plans and put together disaster preparedness kits. "Please remember that pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost or killed, so it is extremely important to include them in your evacuation plans," Block wrote.