Dozens of dogs left outside to die during Hurricane Irma rescued in Florida

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Dozens of dogs stranded and left to die in Florida’s streets as Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc across the US state have been rescued by officials.

Police in Florida are considering pressing charges against pet owners who left their dogs outside when the storm hit, with rescuers finding at least 40 dogs abandoned during the storm.

According to the New York Post, most of the stricken animals were tied against posts or left outside in pens, unable to escape if flood waters filled the streets.

Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control director Dianne Sauve said: “There is absolutely no excuse for doing that.”

State Prosecutor Sauve Aronberg added. “This is a prime example of animal cruelty. We will find you, and we will prosecute you.”

He added officials would use every resource available to them to track down pet owners who have endangered their animals.

A woman takes her dog to a shelter at Alico Arena in Fort Myers (Getty Images)

Hundreds of animals were rescued or relocated as Hurricane Irma swept across the Caribbean, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

Two manatees were left stranded on a beach in Florida after the deadly storm pulled water away from the shore.

Floridian Marcelo Clavijo described how he and a “handful” of other people helped drag the stranded animals back into the water.

In Cuba, six dolphins were also evacuated from a dolphinarium on the island Cayo Guillermo, and taken to safety by helicopter.

Zoos across the Caribbean and Florida also put in place specialised hurricane plans to protect animals against the 180mph winds. Zoo Miami moved its array of flamingos into a specially built hurricane-resistant structure.

Before the storm hit Florida, hundreds of pet owners took their dogs to a pet-friendly shelter in Miami, with only a few in the areas open to both residents and their animals.

At least 35 people are believed to have been killed by the storm in the Caribbean, while six deaths in Florida have been blamed on Irma.

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