Shelter animals from Florida arrive in Bay Area ahead of Irma

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- More than 150 dogs and cats have become California's newest residents, refugees of sorts from a hurricane that has yet to strike Florida, but one expected to wreak havoc for humans and animals alike.

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The adoptable dogs and cats flew cross-country, from Broward County to the Hayward Airport, to make room in shelters in Florida for all the displaced animals expected once Irma moves through.

"One of the lessons learned from Katrina is you simply need to allow people to take their pets with them when they evacuate or they simply won't," explained Allison Lindquist, President, and C.E.O. of the East Bay S.P.C.A "So in anticipation of what they're expecting in Florida, Broward is getting their animals, their adoptable animals, cleared out."

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Here in the Bay Area, these dogs and cats will be given a thorough check-up and dispersed to three different shelters, the Berkeley Humane Society, East Bay SPCA and Tony LaRussa's ARF in Walnut Creek.

"When they called Tuesday I spent all day Tuesday trying to locate a plane so that we'd transport the animals," said Elena Bicker, the Executive Director of ARF.

The plane was provided by a group called "Wings of Rescue."

Each of the organizations could use financial donations, volunteers and people willing to foster the animals in the short term.

Many of the animals will likely be available for permanent adoption next week.

Click here to get more information on the animals from Berkeley Humane Society.

Click here to get more information on the animals from the East Bay SPCA.

Click here to get more information on the animals from ARF Life.

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