Boca an­i­mal shel­ter suf­fers se­vere storm dam­age

The Palm Beach Post - - HURRICANE IRMA - By Eliot Klein­berg

ABOVE: BOCA RA­TON — The beau­ti­ful trees that cover the 22 acres of the Tri-County An­i­mal Res­cue com­plex west of the city turned ugly dur­ing Hur­ri­cane Irma. Strong winds dropped sev­eral of them, smash­ing the com­pound.

“It changed our whole sky­line,” op­er­a­tions man­ager Allen Trow­bridge said Tues­day morn­ing, step­ping over de­bris at the com­pound, which fronts the west side of Florida’s Turn­pike just south of Glades Road.

The 200-plus an­i­mals that were in the non­profit, no-kill shel­ter dur­ing Irma, fill­ing it over ca­pac­ity, all are OK, Trow­bridge said.

He said vol­un­teers and an­i­mals alike have been sweat­ing since power went out Satur­day morn­ing.

Dur­ing the storm, Trow­bridge said, one tree fell into a playpen area, de­stroy­ing most of it. An­other knocked down fences at an­other playpen area. A power-tele­phone pole fell into a pond.

The big­gest dam­age was in the “sanc­tu­ary house,” which housed about 50 an­i­mals that were crit­i­cally ill or had be­ha­vo­rial is­sues. The fall­ing tree ac­tu­ally tore out the elec­tri­cal hous­ing, which will need to be either re­paired or re­placed.

Eight peo­ple were at TriCounty at the height of the storm, in­clud­ing one who was in the sanc­tu­ary house when the tree fell around 3 or 4 a.m. Sun­day.

“All the wa­ter com­ing down. All the an­i­mals were go­ing crazy,” Trow­bridge said.

Peo­ple and an­i­mals had to be moved to the main build­ing in high winds in the dark of night, Trow­bridge said.

“We have them at dou­ble ca­pac­ity right now,” he said.

Inside, dogs looked out and barked from cages lining dark­ened hall­ways where an open door brought in just the slight­est breeze.

Tri-County had been over­whelmed with an­i­mals just be­fore the storm. Trow­bridge said some peo­ple had brought in an­i­mals they said were found in crates at pumps at gaso­line sta­tions.

Coun­ty­wide, Palm Beach County emer­gency man­agers are ask­ing any­one who finds a dog or cat to bring it to Palm Beach County An­i­mal Care and Con­trol’s main shel­ter, at 7100 Belvedere Road, near Florida’s Turn­pike west of West Palm Beach.

Tri-County’s Trow­bridge said it was too early to be­gin to guess at the dam­age fig­ures. He said the com­plex had a gen­er­a­tor, but the diesel gas to fuel it nearly was gone. He said he had plenty of food and wa­ter for the an­i­mals but re­ally could use either a con­trac­tor or roofer.

“We’re do­ing the best we can,” he said.

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