Dozens of cats, dogs safe in Cleveland after being rescued from path of Hurricane Irma

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CLEVELAND - Dozens of cats and dogs that were rescued from the path of Hurricane Irma have landed right here in Northeast Ohio.

Thirty two dogs and cats once in the path of Hurricane Irma are now safe at the Cleveland Animal Protective League and looking for new homes.

"We were expecting 17 dogs and as happens in crisis situations, sometimes things are pretty fluid. And when the plane landed in Columbus and our team that went down there to meet it started loading animals up, we learned that they brought us 12 dogs and 20 cats," said Cleveland APL director Sharon Harvey.

They cats were a surprise, but the APL made room for them in a conference room. The APL agreed to take in the animals so animal shelters in Florida could free up space before the storm hit. These animals are from the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach areas.

"They're trying to empty their cages down there so that when the animals that are displaced by the storm need somewhere to go, they're ready for them. So that hopefully, they can be reunited with their families," said Harvey.

These animals were already up for adoption in Florida, and they'll be up for adoption here at the Cleveland APL, but not until Monday.

"We are having to cross some t's and dot some i's with respect to just checking and being sure that they're spayed and neutered...we want to make sure they have rabies vaccines on board," said Harvey.

To make room for the new arrivals, the APL is offering half off adoption fees for cats and dogs at least a year old that were already in the Cleveland shelter just through this weekend. Adoption fees for the rescued animals from Florida will not be discounted...and for good reason.

"The shelters where they came from put all the resources into preparing them for adoption, so what we are planning on doing is offering to send the adoption fees from these animals back to source shelters that are being impacted by the storm...we feel that's the right thing to do," she said

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