Lakeland dogs left behind by owners during Irma ready for adoption

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


Two of the dogs have been adopted, and three more are ready for their forever homes.

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

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.

Then the dogs were taken to SPCA Florida in Lakeland.

The Next Chapter:

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

“It’s real exciting when we can be involved in a story like this, and just be able to get the animals back on the right path of health and happiness,” SPCA Florida Executive Director Adam Stanfield said.

Sir Mix-A-Lot

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

“It’s like night and day. To see them in their playgroups it’s amazing,” Stanfield said. “We’ve adopted two of them. And we’re anticipating the other three will find their own homes as well.”

Todd Zinninger adopted one of the dogs, now named Huckleberry.

“It was pretty awesome to see him in the pen at the SPCA, we liked him immediately and took him home,” Zinninger said.

Zinninger didn’t know what Huckleberry had been through.

“We watched it on the internet and we saw him getting rescued in the water. It’s pretty neat to have a dog that you can see on TV. He’s been a really good dog and we’re happy to have him,” he said.

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

Marigold, Sir Mix-a-Lot and Johnny are still waiting for new homes. If you would like to adopt them from the SPCA Florida, click here.

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