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Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Hurricane Relief: people’s pets left behind to survive Ian’s destruction

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Grace Sherman
A boat ended up in someone’s yard as a result of severe flooding and damage post-hurricane Ian.

In the wake of recovery from Hurricane Ian, all that remains are debris, flooded homes, boat pileups, a wiped-out landscape and pets in many parts of Florida. 

People, especially pet owners, are shocked by how anyone could leave their beloved animals behind during mandatory evacuations. Others know the difficulty of having to gamble between their family’s safety and their pet’s safety. With a mandatory evacuation, people are faced with the option to evacuate with hundreds of thousands of other people, or stay at their homes to hunker down and deal with not having assistance if conditions go south. 

Before Ian struck, the volume of people evacuating their towns in Florida left highways at a standstill and hotels booked out. Many people were unable to find hotels and shelters for themselves that were also accepting pets. Some were also unable to travel safely with their pets for long periods of time as a result of the highway standstills.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a statement to Floridians. “Don’t leave your pets behind. Almost every shelter is gonna be pet-friendly, people understand that it is important we are taking care of our pets,” DeSantis suggested. Even with DeSantis’s statement, many were worried about the ability to travel with and be accepted into accommodations during the evacuation. Some stayed in their homes with their pets and were left with no choice but to leave their pets once their homes flooded, rescuing themselves. Countless dogs, cats, and other animals were left stranded, needing to survive independently.

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Senior Grace Sherman’s family has a house that was in the path of Ian. She recently learned about the situation of pets. “I think people left pets behind because of panicking at the moment with the number of things they needed to do to prepare. I think I would have tried to plan and take my pet to a safe place,” Sherman expressed. This is an opinion shared by many online. 

A video of a man, Mike Ross, who witnessed the reality of a cat being left behind and struggling in the storm, has been seen online by many. Ross saved the cat from a rushing storm surge and went on to name it Ian while also putting in an effort towards the pet crisis as a whole. 

Ross and his girlfriend’s home was severely damaged leading to them creating a fundraiser serving multiple purposes, “In honor of Ian, and all people and pets affected, we are donating half of the proceeds raised by this to the Naples Humane Society,” he stated. 

With the high volume of animals in danger and isolated in flooded areas, pet shelters throughout the state have sent out response teams to rescue as many pets as possible. This includes the Naples Humane Society, Petco Love and Wings of Rescue. 

Sherman also says there is a way to help save these animals. “Something that could be done is shelters taking in more animals and having more shelters available to make emergency plans for future hurricanes.” For this hurricane and future ones, it will be a grave necessity to help animals left to struggle in the aftermath of the ruthless storms.

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About the Contributors
Emma Vaaler, Photo Manager
Emma Vaaler is a senior at Pleasant Valley and will be serving as the photo manager of the Spartan Shield this year. She is 17 years old, was a dancer for most of her life, and lived overseas for seven years in Finland and Russia. She is a lifeguard at the Outing Club and a barista at Dunn Brothers Coffee. Emma is looking forward to graduating in May and attending an undecided university to major in marketing. She loves to travel and has spent a huge part of her life taking trips around the world with her family exploring new cultures. Emma enjoys being on frontline, cheering on PV student-athletes, and is excited for the rest of the year. In her free time, she spends time with friends, getting coffee, and playing with her dog, Apollo. Emma enjoys writing and managing social media and is excited about her role in the Spartan Shield this year.   
Grace Sherman, Student Life Editor
Grace Sherman is a senior at Pleasant Valley and serves as the Student Life Editor for the Spartan Shield. She is 17 years old, and has been a competitive dancer all her life. She works at her studio teaching a variety of styles to young aspiring dancers. Grace’s future plans are to continue her education at University of Iowa to major in Nursing. This year Grace was selected as one of the leaders for the Pleasant Valley Student Section. She loves attending all sporting events and cheering on her peers. In Grace’s freetime she enjoys traveling, hanging out with her friends, and shopping. She is excited to finish off her senior year and for what's to come in her future. Grace enjoys keeping up with school and social events and is excited to take on her role on the Spartan Shield. 

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    malayna albertsonOct 25, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    I really liked how much information you added into this and I actually can’t believe and how sad that is how many pet owners had to leave ether pets behind.

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  • S

    Savana StalkfleetOct 14, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    Your article is very informational and you did a good job on your format. This was an article that made me want to keep reading.

    Reply
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Hurricane Relief: people’s pets left behind to survive Ian’s destruction