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Hundreds of dogs and cats defy mandatory evacuation order

Jennifer Middleton is riding out ...

Posted: Sep 14, 2018 10:30 AM
Updated: Sep 14, 2018 10:30 AM

Jennifer Middleton is riding out Hurricane Florence alongside her friends Westy, Copper, Duchess, Queenie and Braveheart.

Middleton, executive director of the Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary, says she and her charges -- about 157 dogs and 51 cats -- will be staying put and weathering the storm together, even though they're in a mandatory evacuation area along the South Carolina coast,

Animals

Cats

Dogs

Life forms

Mammals

She says evacuation would be devastating for many of the animals, many of whom are sick, elderly or were traumatized and abused before they came to the sanctuary. It would be risky for her staff, too, if the anxious animals started to bite during the evacuation process.

She looks at Jesse, a Chow mix whose owner kept him in a 6-by-8-foot plywood box for about two years. There was no top, but the sides were so high he couldn't see out. When someone looked inside, he growled at them.

She can't imagine putting him in a box now to transport him away from Florence.

"He'd be horribly stressed to be put in a small container again, from living so much time in a small container," she said. "Jesse and I will be happy to weather Flo right here."

Queenie and Duchess would be traumatized, too. The two mixed breeds are strays, and when sanctuary staff found them, they both had shrapnel in their legs from gunshot wounds. Queenie had a scar around her neck from someone tying her up as a puppy and letting the rope gnaw into her neck.

Hallie Hill, as its name implies, is elevated, and so hopefully less prone to flooding than other coastal areas. Still, high winds could do damage, and so sanctuary staff spent Thursday boarding up windows, checking generators so refrigerators holding lifesaving medicine won't lose power, and filling buckets with water in case the public water system breaks down.

Middleton and another staff member will stay at the 40-acre sanctuary throughout the storm.

She knows the sanctuary, about 20 miles west of Charleston, is under a mandatory evacuation order by Gov. Henry McMaster.

"No insults to the governor. I just have to stay to do what's best with the animals," she said.

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Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 156868

Reported Deaths: 3851
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
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Forrest394786
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Washington3321108
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Monroe209778
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Lincoln200566
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Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
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Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
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Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
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Jefferson Davis59617
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Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
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Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
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Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
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Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
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Choctaw43519
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