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Fort Valley State University’s SAFE Center provides shelter for Savannah zoo

Published: 09/08/17 5:23PM
By: fordlatasha

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Dr. George McCommon, Fort Valley State University’s department head and associate professor of veterinary science and public health, prepares for more than 100 wild animals from Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah to arrive Saturday at FVSU’s State Animal Facility for Emergencies (SAFE) Center.

As Hurricane Irma causes many people to flee Florida and parts of south Georgia, a safe place to house animals is also a concern.

Fort Valley State University’s State Animal Facility for Emergencies (SAFE) Center has now become a temporary home for wild animals from a zoo in Chatham County.

Dr. George McCommon, FVSU’s department head and associate professor of veterinary science and public health, said they are taking in more than 100 animals from Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah. These animals include bald eagles, wolves, foxes and possibly bobcats.

McCommon said the animals are expected to arrive Saturday at the SAFE Center and will stay less than five days. The Savannah facility used the SAFE Center last year in October during Hurricane Matthew. McCommon said in addition to the animals from Oatland Island Wildlife Center, they also agreed to provide space for 70 horses.

For people traveling with pets, McCommon advises evacuees to have food and water, pet documentation such as their rabies vaccination certificate and make sure to put pets in a crate of some sort. He also recommends evacuees take photos of their pet.

Furthermore, McCommon said it’s a good idea if people know ahead of time their destination while traveling.

For more information about the SAFE Center, contact McCommon at (478) 825-6424 or mccommog@fvsu.edu.