After Irma: How to help Florida Keys dogs and cats

With hundreds of dogs and cats in the Florida Keys in need of help after Hurricane Irma, Big Dog Ranch Rescue of Loxahatchee Groves is starting daily flights to drop off dog and cat food and cat litter.

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The first plane left the Lantana airport at noon Thursday, carrying supplies that will be distributed from the Upper Keys Vet Clinic in Marathon. The Keys remain without power, and pet owners and shelters have no way to get food and other essentials for their critters, Big Dog Ranch said.

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“While organizations are providing water and food to the human victims, there is no mechanism to feed the pets,” said Big Dog Ranch founder and president Lauree Simmons. “We have received calls for help from shelters, vet clinics and owners who have run out and have no way to feed their animals.”

The rescue is asking for donations of food and litter in 20-pound bags or smaller that will be carried to the Keys. The drop-off point is Big Dog Ranch Rescue's facility, 14444 Okeechobee Blvd., Loxahatchee Groves. For more information on donating or volunteering, go to

Credit: Spencer Platt

Credit: Spencer Platt

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