Their trip began in Georgetown, SC on Monday at 3 p.m., but Tuesday morning, 14 adult dogs and 5 puppies were resting safely at the Erie County SPCA.
As Hurricane Dorian threatens the U.S. Eastern Coast, St. Frances Animal Center has transferred some of their animals to Harlem Road in West Seneca to make room for pets who get displaced because of the storm.
SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca said the transfer is part of an agreement with southern animal shelters during hurricane season.
"What they typically do, in order to be proactive in the face of some of these storms, they will clear all the shelters to make some room for animals that might be displaced by the impending hurricane," she said, as the dogs were being unloaded. "So we are receiving some animals. Again, these are not victims of the hurricane, they're already surrendered."
Lattuca said all the animals will rest from their long drive and then be examined before they are put up for adoption. She said adoptions may begin as soon as later this week. The puppies will take longer.
"Now the puppies, we already have foster homes lined up for the puppies, so don't be looking for them on our website," she said. "They won't be available this week. Oh, there's one now."
Lattuca said the puppies also have to be updated with their vaccinations before going to a forever home.
West Seneca is the first stop for St. Frances, on the way with more dogs to animal shelters in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. SPCA Chief Transport Manager Barbara Frazier said this was an unplanned transfer, arranged over the weekend as the path of Dorian changed.
"This happened over the last two days, as the path of the hurricane became more apparent that there would be significant danger in this area (South Carolina)," Frazier said, "so we are preparing quickly to take on more dogs than anticipated, but for a very, very good reason."