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Ky. Humane Society returns with rescued pets from Florida

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A long journey spanning more than 1,500-miles and 30 hours came to an end Saturday evening when a truck pulling a horse trailer filled with more than 50 animals pulled into the parking lot of the Kentucky Humane Society.

The journey began shortly after noon on Friday when Andrea Blair and Frank Hanlon with the KY Humane Society hit the road for Jacksonville.

"Frank and I have not slept since then, so partly it's just that adrenaline rush," Blair, the public relations and marketing director, said.

"A lot of 5-Hour Energy, Mountain Dew, Cheez-Its," Hanlon, the community relations manager, said.

Blair and Hanlon returned to Louisville with 37 dogs and 15 cats, brought back from a shelter in Jacksonville that called for help clearing out as many animals before Hurricane Irma, which will make it easier for the local shelter to serve the animals affected by the hurricane.

"We know there are going to be many, many animals that are going to be displaced and lost because of the storm," Blair said.

To make room for the incoming animals, the Humane Society held an adoption event Saturday, with around 60 cats and dogs finding their forever homes.

"The more adoptions and people that we can have come out and support us and take home their new best friend, it's going to free up more space for these animals that are coming in," Kristin Binkowski, the development manager in charge of the adoption event, said.

Millions of people have already evacuated the Sunshine State ahead of what is predicted to be one of the most destructive storms the country has seen.

"Every rest stop and gas station, people were parked and sleeping," Hanlon said. "Just everywhere, people were parking on the highway sleeping. It was just pretty surreal."

Despite the risk of being stuck in the storm and the long sleepless drive, both Blair and Hanlon said seeing the animals safe and sound makes it all worth it.

But despite the risk of being stuck in the storm... and the long sleepless drive... the two say seeing these animals safe and sound makes it all worth it.

"Every second, I wouldn't change it for the world," Hanlon said. Just pulling in here with all these animals and all of them doing well, it's special."

KY Humane Society said it also brought in 30 pets early Saturday morning from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It is expected to help more Houston-area shelters next week.

The Humane Society said many of these pets are looking for fosters and new owners. Anyone interested in adopting or fostering can get information on their website: kyhumane.org.