Animals displaced by Hurricane Irma in Florida arrive in Waukesha

WAUKESHA -- Touchdown. A plane packed with dozens of cats and dogs from animal shelters in Florida lands in Waukesha Friday, September 15th.


"Because we're an emergency placement partner with a nationwide group called the Human Society of the United States, they have asked us to help out with relief for pets affected by the hurricanes recently," Jennifer Smeija from the Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) of Waukesha County said.

These animals are coming from areas hit hard by Hurricane Irma. 30 dogs and 20 cats from Gainesville are now looking for a new home.


"By moving them out to our area, we can put them up for adoption. Then that clears space that need room for emergency situations," Smeija said.

Once offloaded, they go for a quick bathroom break and then they load back up to the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County for a brief check up and to get ready for adoption.

HAWS is being assisted with the care and housing of the cats by our veterinary partners Cream City Kitty Clinic, Mukwonago Animal Hospital and Waukesha Animal Hospital. Their shelter partners at Washington County Humane Society and Watertown Humane Society will be assisting by taking some of the dogs into their facilities.

"So there may be some that need to be in ISO for a couple of weeks to have some treatment and then we'll get them up for adoption. So then we'll treat them like any other adoptable here," Smeija said.

The shelter gives them health checkups, and time to calm down and process all the changes they've recently been through. But the outlook seems positive. New animals, on a new adventure, looking for a new home.

It's important to understand this: these animals were already in shelters before Hurricane Irma made landfall. However, with the storm gone... shelters expect their kennels to fill up quickly. And moving them up here makes space for those who now don't have a home.

Officials at the shelter in Waukesha said it may take a few days to process the roughly 50 animals now calling this shelter home, but they expect these companions to find homes quickly.