Jacksonville animal rescue group travels to Carolinas to help rescue animals

A Jacksonville animal rescue group is getting involved in the rescue efforts ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Volunteers hit the road and drove through the night to North Carolina to rescue dogs from shelters that are in Florence’s path.

Mike Merrill with Florida Urgent Rescue was able to rescue several dogs from an animal shelter in North Carolina.

UPDATES: Hurricane Florence likely to make landfall near Myrtle Beach

“I think there are a lot of dogs in danger,” Merrill said.

When he found out the potential severity of Hurricane Florence and its projected path, he said he started calling animal shelters in North Carolina to see if they needed help to transport animals.

“There are a dozen rural shelters that need help and we have only gotten to one so far,” Merrill said.

So far six dogs have been transported from Columbus County animal control, which is less than an hour from the coast.

“The shelter that we pulled from still has 40 more dogs and 30-35 more cats in the path of the storm,” Merrill said.

RELATED: Latest info from the National Hurricane Center 

Four of the dogs from the shelter are now at the Atlanta airport and will be boarding a plane to head to Minnesota.

Paws Humane in Columbus, Georgia is getting the rest of the dogs.

Merrill said he plans to head back to the Carolinas after the storm passes to transport more than 40 animals and he said he needs help.

“Looking for volunteers to drive and transport animals,” Merrill said.

Since many local shelters are packed, Merrill is encouraging people to foster animals or adopt to free up space.

“The problem is all the local shelters are full, they are at capacity,” Merrill said.

If you are interested in headed to the Carolinas after the storm to help rescue animals at other shelters, you can find more information HERE.