North Carolina shelter housing pets from Hurricane Florence

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Cumberland County in North Carolina is under a state of emergency. The county’s emergency operations center is up and running, and it’s already quite busy.

The special call center that’s been set up had already received about 200 calls as of about 5 p.m. Wednesday. Hurricane Florence is just starting to impact the North Carolina coast, but the proactivity is a focus of county officials.

“Certainly, people are concerned,” said volunteer call taker Lisa Childers. “Concerned for their family. We’ve also received calls from family members out of state — New York, in Chicago — who have family members living here in Fayetteville and want to locate a shelter.”

Cumberland County has seven shelters set up. Two of them are pet-friendly.

The county is encouraging those that live in flood-prone areas to think ahead. Two of the seven shelters allow pets — Pine Forest and South View high schools — so that people can bring their furry companions.

One person even brought a bird.

County officials said about 100 people are staying in shelters Wednesday night. Hurricane Matthew two years ago is still fresh in minds, and no one wants to take chances.

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this one,” said Pat Kelly of Hope Mills. “Knowing that, I brought my Bear Bear, my baby, to the shelter at South View High School just to make sure he’s safe.”

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