Pets of all shapes and sizes took refuge with their owners in the Key West airport.
Amidst the doom and gloom surrounding the wake of Hurricane Irma, Wide Open Pets is attempting to put some smile's on people's faces.
We had a little help from Key West local Laura Crouch Thornbrugh who hunkered down in the Key West International Airport to wait out the storm. With the number of exotic pets taking refuge alongside her, she called the terminal of the tiny airport "Noah's Ark."
The eye of the storm hit just north of Key West in Cudjoe Key, where conditions are reportedly much worse. But survivors along the 100-mile stretch of islands are slowly getting word back to their loved ones that they made it through this historic Category 4 hurricane.
Iguanas are invasive in the Florida Keys, but just as common as squirrels in the Midwest. Some residents take in injured iguanas as pets, which is not illegal due to the species' invasive status. In fact, if caught, it is actually illegal to release them back into the wild. They are, however, protected by anti-cruelty laws.
Roosters are also a common sighting--so much so that baby chicks replace the dancing rats in Key West's annual production of The Nutcracker. Prior to the storm, some residents took to rounding up the cock-a-doodle-doos and transporting them to safety.
Locals shared Thornburgh's post around the Internet, shedding some hope in a grim situation.
Having called the Florida Keys home for three years, I know the love residents have for their pets and the island wildlife. If you'd like to help the Keys rebuild, please consider donating to one of their many wildlife rescue centers or pet shelters. The unique animals of the Keys are a part of what you get in this archipelago paradise.
Check our site daily for more Hurricane Irma pawsitivity!
Have you seen the Key West roosters and iguanas? Share your memories in the comments below!
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