“Southwest Florida holds a special place in our hearts – It’s where we conceived the idea for Top Shelf Dog,” said Chip Bergstrom, CEO and Co-founder of Top Shelf Dog in a press release. “We have family in Fort Myers Beach, and spend weeks every winter on Sanibel. It breaks my heart to see anyone, human or canine, suffering. We know that pets often become displaced and lack aid following a natural disaster. Top Shelf Dog is committed to extending even more help and will continue to follow the lead of the good people at the Gulf Coast Humane Society.”
While power was inaccessible to most areas in Southwest Florida, Top Shelf Dog’s food requires no refrigeration. The meals were distributed to areas including Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, Matlacha and other areas that were devastated.
“We are grateful for companies like Top Shelf Dog and the countless others who are lending support for our shelter animals and those displaced in the community,” said Kristin Sampson, shelter manager for The Gulf Coast Humane Society. “So many people have offered to help, but we still have work to do and needs to be met.”
Other Hurricane Ian relief efforts
The ASCPA worked diligently to evacuate shelter pets out of harm’s way before Hurricane Ian made landfall. Since then, the ASPCA disaster response team has assisted Lee County Animal Services to distribute food and supplies, respond to requests for assistance and conduct assessments.
As of October 6, 2022, the ASPCA’s response efforts have assisted more than 630 animals.
PAWS Chicago sent rescue vans down to Southwest Florida to free up space in the Gulf Coast Humane Society. While many of these animals had been in the shelter before the hurricane hit, the increase in displaced pets created a need for more space.
According to a press release, PAWS Chicago arrived back with 53 dogs and cats.
Greater Good Charities’ Good Flights program sent help to the West Palm and Fort Myers area to evacuate over 150 shelter pets, which have been transported to the Pacific Northwest. The charity also sent food, supplies and humanitarian aid to the affected areas. Though donations are still needed.
CareVet Rescue deployed a volunteer-based response team to the Fort Myers area. The four-person team will provide veterinary services free of charge and additionally, help owners find their pets with microchip scanners.
For the companion article, "Pet companies put emphasis on giving back,” published in the November 2022 issue of Petfood Industry magazine, see www.PetfoodIndustry.com/articles/11656.