Mon., September 3, 2012 12:00am (EDT)

FVSU Emergancy Animal Shelter Now Open
By Adam Ragusea
Updated: 2 years ago

FORT VALLEY, Ga.  —  
The new State Animal Facility for Emergencies ("SAFE") at Fort Valley State University (courtesy photo)
The new State Animal Facility for Emergencies ("SAFE") at Fort Valley State University (courtesy photo)
As hurricane season continues, the nation's first permanent evacuation center for animals has opened its doors at Fort Valley State University.

The 7,800-square-foot facility boasts 105 dog cages, 84 cat cages, stalls for 30 horses plus pastures available for livestock.

The is intended to temporarily house animals rescued from large-scale abuse cases, as well as household pets whose owners are fleeing disasters.

“The Red Cross does not allow pets in their shelters. People won’t leave their pets behind, and if they do eventually leave they delay it until they’re better off staying,” said interim director George McCommon.

McCommon says it’s not an accident the facility is located close to Interstate 75, a major evacuation route for hurricanes.

The center is funded by the state, and will charge no fees to individuals who need a place to leave their pets during a disaster.