CORRECTION: Because of a file management error, the video attached to this article originally had footage of a horse that did not belong to Imogen Thomson. The video has been updated with correct footage of her horse, Chairman. Elon News Network apologizes for the error.
With Hurricane Florence on its way, some students are wondering what to do with their pets.
Sophomore Imogen Thomson and her horse Chairman are choosing to ride out the storm in Elon.
“Not really what I expected in my first month of owning a horse,” Thomson said.
Thomson considered leaving the Elon area to get away from Hurricane Florence, but decided she needed to stay to take care of Chairman, who lives at a local barn.
“This is all on me. So at first I wasn’t sure if I should evacuate him, whether I needed to get him back to New Jersey or somewhere safe,” Thomson said.
But while Chairman has a home, not all animals do. A member of Elon Animal Rescue, a club on campus that finds shelter animals students to foster them, contacted sophomore Nikki Gupta about the need for animals in the Burlington Animal Services shelter to be taken in during the hurricane.
“I think I’d be really scared if I didn’t have a home and there was a hurricane. I wouldn’t want to go through that myself,” Gupta said.
Gupta and her roommate Kelsey Manzano picked up five cats from the shelter and are fostering two of them while three are staying with other students on their hall. While Gupta was happy to take the kittens, she admits it’s more work than she thought it would be.
"It’s a lot of responsibility. I can’t even take care of myself so taking care of another precious creature like this … I think they deserve a better owner,” Gupta said.
And Manzano agrees especially since she was hesitant about sheltering the cats in the first place.
“I get way too attached way too easily. And I just know that my heart will be in pieces when we have to give them back,” Manzano said.
But no matter what pets you have or where your pets are, Thomson says it’s hard not to worry about them in a situation like this.
“You’re always going to think of them as your baby and be worried for them,” Thomson said.
While students prepare to weather the hurricane themselves, they are also taking care of some creature comforts for their non-human friends. Thomson is preparing by doing things that include giving her horse ear plugs and a medicine to protect its stomach from stress related ulcers.
The five kittens that Manzano and Gupta are caring for are all up for adoption and can be adopted for $10 from Burlington Animal Services. The cost includes spaying, neutering, and vaccines.
If you are looking to adopt, call Burlington Animal services at 336-578-0343.