“Our advice is to take your pet with you," Lauryn Postiglione with Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center said. “Never leave them behind, if you can help it.”
There are four pet-friendly shelters you can go to in Hillsborough County: Burnett Middle School in Seffner, Sgt. Smith Middle School in Tampa, Bartels Middle School in Tampa and Shields Middle School Way in Ruskin.
In Pinellas County, there are three pet-friendly shelters: Oak Grove Middle School in Clearwater, John Hopkins Middle School in St. Petersburg and Dunedin Middle School.
There are three shelters in Polk County, including Philip O’Brien Elementary School in Lakeland, Alta Vista Elementary school in Haines City and Lake Region High School in Eagle Lake.
Sarasota County has six pet-friendly shelters: Brookside Middle School, Riverview High School, North Port High School, Pine View School, Heron Creek Middle School and Woodland Middle School.
There are three in Manatee County: Braden River High, Manatee High School and Mills Elementary School.
And Pasco County has Mike Fasano Regional Hurricane Shelter, Hernando County has D.S. Parrott Middle School and Citrus County has Lecanto Primary School.
Space is limited and some shelters require you to pre-register so plan on contacting the shelter in advance and getting there early.
Many hotels that usually don’t allow pets are likely to let them in but you must call to confirm before showing up.
“If you have crates for your pets, you have a much better chance of getting in because you can control your pet,” Postiglione said.
On Thursday, Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center was at capacity with around 300 dogs that were dropped off. Employees there encourage people to call other rescues or, better yet, have a friend that can watch your pets safely.
Remember, your pet needs everything humans needs during a hurricane including food. Also bring along documents, vaccination records, medicine, microchip information, poop bags, etc.
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