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Dozens of pets rescued from Hurricane Ian arrive in Tampa ready to be fostered

Mercy Full Project
Posted at 6:37 AM, Oct 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-06 15:26:50-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa animal rescue organization is stepping in to help the pets displaced in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

Mercy Full Project rescued Menji from an animal shelter in Port Charlotte, Florida, that remains without power and water following Hurricane Ian. The Tampa-based animal rescue and nonprofit is going into the hardest-hit areas to save animals that have been displaced.

“Monday, we went to Pine Island with a bunch of volunteers that let us borrow their boats. We got to the island, and we rescued 12 dogs out of there because their owners lost everything,” Mercy Full Project founder Heydi Acuna said.

Acuna said they saved 18 animals so far. Now, these animals are ready to be fostered and eventually adopted into their next forever family.

“When a person loses everything they have, unfortunately, they have to make the decision of giving away their animals. So, it’s important to be that support for them. If we can help and hold their animals until they get back on their feet, we would love to do that,” Acuna said.

For Kahlil Campbell, fostering a dog was the best way he knew to help with relief efforts.

“The hurricane brings more dogs. They need help; they really do. They give you everything you need. They give you food, they give you medication,” he said.

Mercy Full Project is also collecting supplies, including pet food, blankets and canned goods, to deliver to those who desperately need them.

This article was written by Rebecca Petit for WFTS.