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Dozens of dogs abandoned, left unable to escape as Irma bears down

By: Sean Rossman, USA TODAY
September 10, 2017 Updated: September 10, 2017 at 4:37 pm
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Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control director Dianne Sauve said the agency recovered roughly 40 dogs in the days before Irma made landfall in Florida. Some were tied up, others were in pens or in enclosed yards, unable to escape. In this photo, shelter dog Austin looks out from his pen Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, at the Cache Humane Society in Logan, Utah. Austin is one of seven dogs taken in from Houston-area shelters, to help make room for dogs displaced by Hurricane Harvey. ( Sarah Welliver /Standard-Examiner via AP)

Authorities in south Florida may pursue felony charges against people who abandoned their animals as Hurricane Irma approached the Florida peninsula.

Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control director Dianne Sauve said the agency recovered roughly 40 dogs in the days before Irma made landfall in Florida. Some were tied up, others were in pens or in enclosed yards, unable to escape.

She said such abandonment is one of the worst things someone can do to their pet, saying "There is absolutely no excuse for doing that."

On Sunday morning, the Florida Department of Public Health reiterated the dangers posed when pets are abandoned during a storm.

Sauve said the agency will pursue felony animal cruelty charges if they are able to gather enough evidence and find and identify a pet's owners, which can be difficult.

Read more at usatoday.com.

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