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Pet owners turn to kennels for dogs’ safety in storm

September 20, 2018

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – When Hurricane Florence threatened South Carolina a few days ago, people in Hartsville secured their homes. Some evacuated. Others might have considered leaving town.

Pet owners had to decide hat to do with their pets. For some, this meant boarding them in local kennels.

“Pet owners with outside dogs and those leaving the area and could not take their dogs with them started looking before the storm hit for places to board their animals,” said Heather Neubauer, the owner of Gray Oak Boarding Kennels in Hartsville, at 1513 Bay Creek Road.

She said she noticed an increased intake of animals during Hurricane Florence.

This week, she also has been taking in dogs from residents asked to evacuate because of the potential for flooding of their homes.

“We also took in two from the Humane Society,” she said.

Neubauer said she took in 17 dogs over the weekend. However, some have gone while others remain.

“We are more than half full,” she said.

Beth and Jamie Dudley, owners of Country Cabin Pet Resort at 255 Jumping Gully Road in Hartsville, said they have been busier than usual.

“We had some people who were going to stay with someone else and couldn’t take their dogs along bring them to us,” Beth said.

She said others brought their dogs in because they were experiencing flooding or had no electricity.

Although she said they weren’t as busy as they thought they might be, they did have two buildings full with evacuee dogs. She said the last of them went home Tuesday.

Rhett Riddle, owner of Bay Creek Kennels at 2110 Hearthstone Road in Hartsville, said he left town and went upstate during the threat of Hurricane Florence.

“I packed up and left,” he said. “I couldn’t chance it here.”

Riddle said he took approximately 30 dogs with him to ride out the storm at another kennel in Spartanburg.

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