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Large animal care during Hurricane Florence

PENDER COUNTY – Hurricane Florence forecasts call for a lot of rain, flooding, and hurricane force winds.

“At this point in the storm, if someone has large animals – horses, cattle, most livestock in general – owners need to move them to the highest elevation possible,” said Jewel Horton, manager of the Pender County Animal Shelter. “Confinement in a barn can lead to death due to drowning or structure collapse. Leaving in the largest open area possible is best so they can run from danger.  They are typically very instinctive and will lie down in high winds, and dodge debris. They can still be injured outside but typically it is non-life threatening.”

Horton said marking large animals with some sort of ID is recommended.

“Livestock paint markers/spray painting your phone number or longitude/latitude of your farm is extremely helpful. Microchips on tame livestock is wonderful as well,” Horton said.

Horton recommends that if an animal owner uses collars or halters on with tags, it is best to use breakaway style collars or halters in case the animal get hung up.

“Braiding ID or luggage tags into the animal’s mane or the tails of horses works great as well!” said Horton.

Provide plenty of access to clean water. Horton recommends have enough water for seven days in the event of power outages. Animal owners should also have enough food and hay in dry storage for seven days is recommended if the owner lacks a good pasture.

“Livestock abandoned may be inaccessible for a while with this storm,” said Horton.


If you must leave livestock, please email with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Address where animals were left
  • Your contact info
  • How many animals were left and types/description
  • Any behavior info we should know (aggression issues)


“You will need proof of ownership to claim should your animals be found,” said Horton. “We recommend four color photos –  both sides, front and rear – any registration information and medical records from a veterinarian, to aid if finding or claiming large livestock.”

Horton said Pender County Animal Shelter can’t guarantee recovery of your animal in a flood or impact zone. However, knowledge of what animals are left behind before the storm allows shelter personnel to plan to assist.

Animals recovered by Pender County will be under the care of the Pender County Animal Shelter located at 3280 New Savannah Rd Burgaw, NC 28425.

For more information contact the email shelter at 910-259-1484 or email


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