As Hurricane Irma approached Florida, dozens of calls flooded into the Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control to say evacuating dog owners had left their pets chained to trees and parked cars.
A report by WPTV says the calls came from neighbors of the dog owners. It is illegal in Palm Beach County to leave a dog chained up if the owner is not present. In this situation, with a hurricane on the way, it's felony animal abuse, animal control officers told WPTV.
In addition to the chained dogs, animal control all said it was receiving calls about animals left in houses or in pens by fleeing owners.
Director of Animal Care Diane Suave told WPTV, "They are left in a yard, in a pen they cannot escape from or tethered to trees or poles."
Animal control officers have rescued 49 dogs and two cats in the last 48 hours, the report said.