Alabama opens temporary animal shelters for Hurricane Michael evacuees

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -  Hurricane Michael has already displaced many people. But livestock and pet owners face an additional decision: what about my animals?

In efforts to reduce the number of animals left abandoned after natural disasters, Alabama has set up three temporary shelters for evacuated animals.

Robert Spencer, facilities manager at the Alabama A & M University Agribition Center, said this isn't the first time this service has been offered for natural disasters.

"We've actually offered this since 2004 through the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. Not once has anyone ever taken advantage of it," Spencer said.

He thinks it's because Huntsville is so far north of where the storms brew. And since there are also shelters in Montgomery and Wedowee, people usually drop-off at those locations first.

Nonetheless, Spencer and the Agribition Center are prepared to host up to 100 animals.

"Any kinds of animals are welcome. The only two animals I would not recommend putting in a stall are cats and snakes because either of those is going to escape," Spencer said. " Please don't bring any snakes unless you a have a really good crate to keep them in. I'm not too excited about snakes."

In the event that an owner leaves an animal's crate behind, the Agribition Center has teamed up with Kasseburg Canine who has volunteered crates for displaced pets.

In the case that an owner is not able to get supplies for an animal before evacuating, all feed and supplies can be purchased locally.