Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Officials rescued several dozens dogs who were found tethered to trees and cars by residents evacuating from Hurricane Irma in Florida, animal rescuers said.
Palm Beach County Animal Care said animal control officers rescued 49 dogs and two cats over 48 hours Friday and Saturday.
On Saturday, animal control officers rescued 26 dogs from the Glades area, according to Dianne Sauve, head of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control. The Glades area is near Lake Okeechobee and about 45 miles from the Atlantic coast.
"They are left in a yard, in a pen they cannot escape from or tethered to trees or poles," she said to WPTV-TV.
On Friday, 23 abandoned dogs were removed from a mobile home park in the area, Sauve said.
County officials will seek legal custody of the abandoned dogs, Sauve said.
It is illegal in Palm Beach County to leave a dog tethered or chained up if no one is present.
"This is a prime example of animal cruelty," Aronberg said. "We will find you, and we will prosecute you."
By Friday, 42 dogs were surrendered by their owners after people said they could not take them as they evacuated.
Animal control closed at 1 p.m. Saturday and officers were pulled off the road at 2:30 p.m.
"We are asking the public, if it is safe, consider sheltering any animals you see left outside," she said.