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Dozens of dogs will evacuate Florida on a private plane to New York

More than three dozen dogs from the Miami-Dade County animal shelter are being flown on Georgina Bloomberg’s private plane to New York ahead of Hurricane Irma.

“She’s taking 40 dogs,” Lauree Simmons, president and founder of the Big Dog Rescue shelter in Loxahatchee, Fla., said of the daughter of billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. “We took a van down there to get them, and we’ll deliver them to her private plane at the Palm Beach County Airport.”

Bloomberg, whose father has a home in nearby Wellington, “is passionate about rescues” and chairs fundraisers for Big Dog, Simmons said.

Big Dog staff went to Houston after Hurricane Harvey, rescuing 60 dogs from the floodwaters. Those dogs are now awaiting adoption at the no-kill shelter.

Simmons’s 33-acre rescue center currently has 457 dogs and puppies living in air-conditioned bunkhouses.

The $10 million facility is still under construction, and the offices and vet clinic are operating out of trailers. Staff members were working frenetically on Thursday packing up the contents of the trailers, because they won’t be safe from Irma’s expected winds.

The dog bunk houses, meanwhile, are fitted with hurricane impact glass built to withstand 200 mile an hour winds, Simmons said.

“The dogs will be very comfortable,” Simmons said. “We’ll stay here with them through the storm, and just keep hoping for the best.”

Hurricane Irma: Storm moves north after pounding Florida
Heavy winds and rain are seen in Miami on Sunday. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Irma, the record-setting hurricane that devastated islands across the Caribbean, has been churning north through Florida — and has turned its sights on Georgia.

Visit the Capital Weather Gang’s live updates page for more on the storm.