Hurricane Irma update: Shannon Carnevale, UF/IFAS Extension Polk County – Sept. 18
Three such shelter residents needed to find a safe place for their pets. Nicole Walker, my county director, received a call from our County Emergency Operations Center asking how UF/IFAS Extension Polk County could help.
Nicole, myself, and Janus Morris (our office manager and animal lover) rode over to the shelter, which was around the corner from our office. Nicole spoke with each shelter resident with a pet and found out two of the three were being picked up by friends or family soon. The third, a lovely lady from Kissimmee, had nowhere else to go and no one she could call.
After several phone calls to area kennels and veterinarians, the options were looking slim. Ms. Morris offered to take the lady’s dog home with her to care for her while the lady needed to stay at the shelter until power and water could be restored to her neighborhood and she was allowed to check in on her home. Ms. Morris gave the lady her contact information and took the 15-year-old Chihuahua, named Snickers, home with her. Snickers remained a house guest at Ms. Morris’ home, enjoying the company of her dogs and other pets. On Friday, Ms. Morris took Snickers to the shelter to visit her owner for a while. It was a loud and happy reunion. The owner was glad to see that Snickers was comfortable with Ms. Morris and happily saw them off. The owner was able to sleep soundly each night after that. On Sunday evening, Ms. Morris returned to the shelter with Snickers because the lady was able to leave. All in all, Janus went above and beyond to help a women secure a safe place to stay post-Irma and have the security of knowing her pet was safe and happy all the while. Less importantly, but still notable, UF/IFAS Extension Polk County was able to help the Polk EOC with a tough situation during a stressful time.