Animals evacuated from hurricane zone arrive at Smyrna’s airport

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SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Dogs evacuated from the hurricane zone in Florida arrived at Smyrna’s airport Saturday night. 

“This was an unusual set of circumstances,” said Jean Harrison with Big Fluffy Dog Rescue in Nashville. The rescue group got a call for help Friday night from a shelter in Clewiston, Florida, a city about 80 miles west of West Palm Beach. 

“We’ve worked with Clewiston before,” Harrison said. “We took their dogs out and their cats before Irma, so we had a relationship.” 

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But getting the animals out of Florida became a “logistical nightmare,” the rescue group wrote on Facebook. Much of Florida’s east coast remains threatened with the uncertainty of a nearby category 5 hurricane. “They have to get out of the state and interstates are a disaster in their own right,” the group said. 

Pilots n Paws solved the problem. Pilot Jeff Wall flew from Mississippi to South Florida to pick up the animals, according to the group. “I don’t know how we’re going to do it. We’re probably going to take one dog loose,” one of the people loading the plane said, while trying to fit all of the animals on board.

After a nearly 18 hour trip, the rescue group said the animals arrived. “They are here and all is well,” the group wrote on Facebook. 

“We’re absolutely happy to do it and we’re glad they’re out of harms way,” Harrison said. “It allows the shelter people to worry about their own families so we’re happy to do it.”

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