Local pet rescuers ready to help as Hurricane Florence heads toward Carolinas

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Pet rescuers in the metro stand at the ready as the arrival of Hurricane Florence looms in the Carolinas.

All eyes are on the weather at Wayside Waifs.

The disaster relief team from the KC animal shelter is on standby with a group of animal rescuers ready to travel if the storm`s aftermath demands it. Casey Waugh from Wayside Waifs said the agency's relief team will go, provided local animal care officials on the East Coast send out the call for help.

Waugh said rescuers from Wayside helped with hurricanes Harvey and Irma last year, as well as the Joplin tornado from 2011.

Rescuers had to evacuate hundreds of pets -- many of whom showed signs of post-traumatic stress, just as their owners possibly were.

"When they get attached to their families, and their family gets moved to safety, and maybe the dog or cat doesn't get to go, they become emotionally affected by that. They become down, sad, scared," Waugh said.

Meanwhile, north of the river, Kathy Plant is also ready to roll. She operates a mobile pet grooming service, but this weekend, Florence will likely become the sixth U.S. weather event where she's used the truck to rescue animals separated from their families.

"When they see my van, they know I'm there for pet rescue," Plant said. "They'll come up and tell us we had to leave our pets behind because the bus wouldn't let them on, or the shelters wouldn't let them on."

But where to put those animals if there`s a need to transport any back to Kansas City?

Waugh said Wayside Waifs is having a dog adoption special on Thursday and Friday, which will hopefully make room for any incoming critters from the East Coast.

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