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Written by Taylor Gilmour
Being a coastal town in south Florida, the Treasure Coast has experienced firsthand the devastation of many hurricanes. So, when Hurricane Florence raced toward the United States in September with a path not toward Florida, but toward the Carolinas, the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast knew we needed to step up and reach out to the affected communities.
Days before the massive storm made landfall, 45 pets from the county animal control unit in Beaufort – one of South Carolina’s coastal island cities – arrived at our shelter, where staff had been eagerly awaiting them. Taking in nearly 50 animals with just two days’ notice would be accomplishment enough for most shelters, but at HSTC, we’re more than a shelter. Of the 45 displaced pets, 26 were cats infected with ringworm and upper respiratory infection (URI). Most shelters across the country do not even attempt to treat such contagious infections, but we were able to appropriately quarantine these ill cats to provide both adequate treatment and containment of the disease.
It was through the incredible determination and effort by our vet and animal care team that, over the course of the seven weeks that these pets received our care, not one additional animal contracted the infection!
“I am so grateful to my hardworking and dedicated staff that allowed us to safely provide care for these 45 animals in the face of a disaster,” Dr. Diskane said of the effort. “It’s also a testament to great leadership that we were entrusted to provide treatment for these zoonotic (contagious to both animals and humans) cases. It is too often that I have seen animals euthanized for this treatable disease in other shelters, and it’s wonderful that the HSTC has the compassion and skill set to be a class above.”
Fortunately, all 45 of these pets have been adopted from our shelter!