The next bark you hear could have a southern accent.
About a dozen dogs from an animal shelter in Mississippi displaced by Hurricane Ivan are to arrive today at the Toledo Area Humane Society in Maumee.
Animal shelters in southern states are overflowing with hundreds of animals because of the recent spate of hurricanes there.
Many Floridians who lost their homes in hurricanes Charley and Frances have been forced to get rid of their pets because shelters, hotels, and motels don't allow them. People dropped off animals at shelters in the areas where they sought refuge from the previous two hurricanes, and now the same is true for those fleeing Hurricane Ivan.
One solution has been to transport many of the homeless animals originally housed in those facilities to the north, said Susan Maxwell, spokesman for the Toledo Area Humane Society. "We got a call from the Humane Society of the United States because they needed to evacuate a shelter in Gulf Port, Miss.," she said. "They are going to drop off some animals in Knoxville, some in Atlanta, Cincinnati, and then come to us.
"The reason they're getting this far north is because a lot of people who've suffered the effects of the hurricanes are in the Atlanta area, and those shelters are probably always full."
The Toledo Area Humane Society has made extra room for the new arrivals.
"We'll be responsible for finding them homes in this area," Ms. Maxwell said. "They are not just displaced animals. These are homeless or abused animals."