A top official of Palm Beach County, Fla. said on Wednesday that animals that were deliberately abandoned during Hurricane Irma will be placed for adoption, Daily Wire reports.
Before any decision is made regarding the future of the animal, both civil and criminal proceedings must take place, according to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control Captain David Wolesky.
Pet owners found guilty of animal abuse could be charged with third-degree felony and could face 5 years in prison and fine of as much as $10,000, Wolesky said.
When the sheriff made rounds to check if people complied with mandatory evacuation orders, they found many animals abandoned in impoverished areas, particularly in trailer parks.
“They were finding properties where the people had clearly left and there were animals either in the yard, tied to the trailer, in a cage in the back of a trailer, or running loose in the neighborhood,” Wolesky added.
Authorities were able to rescue 45 to 50 animals, believed to be victims of their owners’ criminal act, and they will put them for adoption where they will hopefully end up in “happier” situation.