5 dogs rescued from Irma floodwaters in Lakeland receiving care, training

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – We have a heartwarming update about five dogs rescued from rising flood waters in Lakeland. 

The dogs were left behind by their owners during Hurricane Irma.

Now, after spending weeks being cared for at Polk County Animal Control, they are embarking on a new journey.

News Channel 8 crews were covering the aftermath of Hurricane Irma when they found something they weren’t expecting: five dogs crying for help in rising floodwaters.

Polk County Animal Control rescued all five shivering pups. They spent weeks there, being cared for, until their owners surrendered them.

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Employees with SPCA Florida saw WFLA’s coverage and knew they had to help.

“I saw you standing on a street talking about these dogs and I saw them and thought ‘oh my God.’ I don’t know what is going to happen to them, but we have to help,” said Safety Net Manager Connie Johnson.

SPCA Florida invited WFLA to see the dogs this week, as they ran, played and wagged their tails with joy.

“When you first see an animal that has been caged or tied for its whole life, and you let it run for the first time, it will melt your heart,” Johnson said.

Both organizations have spent weeks behind the scenes looking for rescues to take the dogs.

“Space is really tight right now due to Hurricane Irma, so finding rescues to help has been a very hard task, but we are finding people willing to help,” SPCA Florida Rescue Coordinator Rudie Fox told WFLA.

Some of the dogs will be treated because they are heart worm positive.

A rescue is lined up, but first, all five dogs will head to an obedience school in North Florida.

“They love people, they love other dogs, but they don’t have many manners, as far as the jumping. They’re not house trained. They are going to help them learn to be somebody’s indoor pet,” Fox said. “This will help them find their forever homes. These guys deserve the best homes that they can get.”

Stay tuned to News Channel 8 for updates on their journey.

If you’d like to donate to the SPCA Florida, you can do so by clicking here.

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