ASPCA Responders Deploy to North Carolina to Rescue and Care for Hundreds of Animals Displaced by Hurricane Florence

ASPCA disaster relief efforts in Robeson County, NC made possible thanks to support from the Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust
September 18, 2018

NEW YORK—At the request of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, the ASPCA®(American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is supporting local agencies with emergency sheltering of approximately 150animals displaced by severe flooding caused by Hurricane Florence in Lumberton, N.C. and is assisting with animal search-and-rescue efforts in Robeson County. 

The ASPCA also has assisted in evacuating homeless animals from shelters impacted by the hurricane and placed them with animal welfare groups outside of the impacted communities where they can be made available for adoption. The ASPCA deployed more than a dozen responders to North Carolina and is continuing to work with local emergency management agencies to fulfill additional requests.

The ASPCA’s disaster response efforts have been made possible thanks to the Lewyt Rescue Fund, which was generously established by the Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust to support the ASPCA’s anti-cruelty and disaster response efforts. 

“When a storm like Hurricane Florence hits, owned pets and shelter animals can be in as much danger as residents,” said Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “We’re proud to help the North Carolina Dept. of Agriculture save lives, provide critical assistance to shelters, and reunite lost pets with their owners as the area recovers from this disaster.”

“When catastrophic disasters put millions of people in harm’s way, we know the lives of animals are also at risk, so it’s essential we put resources toward assisting not only human victims, but their pets as well,” said Wendy McColgan and Thomas Amlicke, trustees of the Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust.“The Lewyt Rescue Fund was created to ensure animals are protected in these life-threatening situations, and we’re proud to support the ASPCA’s work to save animals in need.”

Last year alone, the ASPCA responded to six disasters including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the wildfires in California, assisting more than 37,000 animals through pre-evacuation, field rescue, and post-disaster relief efforts. The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team deploys nationwide to assist in relocation, search-and-rescue, sheltering and placement of animals during disaster situations including wildfires, tornadoes and floods. In addition, they work closely with local agencies across the country to help enhance their animal response capabilities through grants and training opportunities.

The ASPCA recently produced a 360-degree video that puts viewers on the ground of an actual ASPCA disaster response operation in St. Croix in the wake of Hurricane Maria last year. To view the 360-degree video and learn more about the ASPCA’s disaster response efforts, visit

The Lewyt Rescue Fund was created in memory of the Trust’s founders, the late Alex and Elisabeth "Babette" Lewyt, who were instrumental in saving the lives of countless animals, both through philanthropy and hands-on work.