Georgia National Fairgrounds opens as shelter for horse evacuees

Horse evacuees at Ga. National Fairgrounds

Some Hurricane Irma evacuees are bringing an extra family member or two to the Peach State, their pets. 

One family says they waited overnight in Perry for an animal evacuation shelter to open.

Eleven-year-old Miriah says she refused to leave her best friends behind.

Eleven-year-old Miriah Hartage started riding when she was six-years-old.

“I mean it's one of the best pets you can ever have,” said Hartage. “I've been around these horses a long time.”

Miriah and her mom Elizabeth couldn't bear to separate from them either.

“I'm really happy and I hope that all of these horses are safe now,” said Hartage.

They left their home in Savannah to escape Hurricane Irma.

After traveling more than 100 miles, they found a safe place in Perry where they can all be together.

“You can grab your dog or cat and put them in the car and take them where you want to take them, but with equine it's a little different,” said Keatin Walker with the Georgia National Fairgrounds.

The Georgia National Fairgrounds are opening their stalls to 350 horse evacuees and their families until the storm passes. The families get to stay in the nearby RV area.

“They will be able to get out and condition their horse. They can ride them... walk them... They have that flexibility here,” said Walker.

It's a free stay that allowed their family to stay together.

“I just hope that all of the horses here are safe,” said Hartage.

The Georgia National Fairgrounds will accept evacuees throughout the night , and they are expecting more in the morning. 

They have about 60 horses as of Thursday evening. 

 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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