Animal rescue center transports wildlife off the coast before hurricane hits

- As thousands evacuate off the coast before Hurricane Matthew, many animals are left behind. A local animal rescue shelter sent volunteers down to South Carolina to transport animals to safety.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue volunteers headed for the coast Wednesday morning. They rescued 70 animals in Wilmington and brought them back to the shelter in Monroe.

“You can actually find a place that will take dogs, but how do you find a place that will take chickens or ducks or swans or peacocks,” CWR Executive Director Jennifer Gordon said. “They can’t run around hotel rooms.”

Volunteer Hayley Cheatwood helped transport all kinds of animals before big storms. Looking out for the swans, pelicans, and pigs alike, she told FOX 46 Charlotte people forget to protect wildlife in natural disasters.

“A lot of people think about cats and dogs but they forget about the birds,” Cheatwood said. “And a lot of wild species that need our help too.” 

Gordon said she expects more animals from hurricane areas throughout the weekend and next week. Some animals may be brought to CWR injured from the storm.

“Generally what happens after the storm is we get a huge influx of injured or displaced animals so we will probably get a couple hundred after that,” Gordon said. 

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is sending more volunteers to the South Carolina coast Thursday to rescue more animals. They could not make it down to Charleston because Interstate-26 eastbound lanes were closed. They are looking for volunteers to help transport the animals and space to put endangered animals once their pens fill up. 

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