SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Humane Society for Greater Savannah faced a two-fold concern when an evacuation was ordered ahead of Hurricane Dorian: the people who work there and more than 100 animals in their shelter.
Every trip to the Humane Society for Greater Savannah's adoption floor results in the same thought.
“Makes you wish you could take all of them home.”
Last week, that wish came true, if only temporarily. Just like most of the Coastal Empire, the Humane Society was getting ready for Hurricane Dorian.
“We had 55 cats go into foster, 51 dogs, five mice and two guinea pigs,” said Kathryn Shelton, Humane Society for Greater Savannah.
The Humane Society was able to place every animal in its care in foster homes when the evacuation order was announced, and people came from all across the area to take care of pets - some confusing their homes for a South Georgia Noah’s Ark.
“Actually, the person who took the critters, the mice, and the guinea pigs also took a cat and a dog. They had a full house for the storm, but we had people who came in and took a couple of cats and a couple of dogs, too.”
Robert Cogdill and his girlfriend Valerie took in Dory, and it turned into the best kind of foster - what the Humane Society calls a “failed foster,” when they decided to keep the 4-year-old American Bulldog-terrier mix.
“We got her. Kind of instantly fell in love with her. Behavior-wise, she’s got all her commands down,” her new owner said.
“Failed foster. It sounds negative, but we love them.”
“With both of us animal lovers and not having one, it was kind of just a good thing to do. We weren’t going anywhere, we were staying during the hurricane, so we decided to help out, do something good for the community. We decided to keep an eye on a dog for a little while, and it turned into a long time.”
It shows the valuable role fosters play - during a storm or anytime.
"Studies show that when an animal is out of the adoption center and kept at home just for a couple of days, their cortisone levels go down and their stress levels go down and they become even more adoptable when they come back. We appreciate them so much during the storm and year-round. We have a lot of dedicated foster parents who came back and got even more during the storm, but help us out year-round.
The Humane Society has shelters outside of the Coastal Empire where they can house animals during an evacuation, but they didn’t have to utilize them this time.