Family of seven evacuates to Tifton - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Family of seven evacuates to Tifton

A St. Simons Island family is traveling with their three dogs, cat and rabbit. (Source: WALB) A St. Simons Island family is traveling with their three dogs, cat and rabbit. (Source: WALB)
Evacuee Laurel Barnes (Source: WALB) Evacuee Laurel Barnes (Source: WALB)
As a dog rescuer at an animal hospital, Barnes has adopted her share of pets. (Source: WALB) As a dog rescuer at an animal hospital, Barnes has adopted her share of pets. (Source: WALB)
TIFTON, GA (WALB) -

While hundreds of evacuees are in south Georgia shelters on Thursday night, thousands are packing hotels.

A St. Simons Island family is traveling with their three dogs, cat and rabbit.

They're thankful they found a hotel room, but there is one problem: no pets allowed.

One of Laurel Barnes' dogs whined while in the kennel, but her owners can only let her out for short periods to play in the Holiday Inn Express lot, their temporary home.

After a three hour road trip, Laurel, her husband, and their five furry friends finally found a hotel that wasn't booked up.

"We came here and Gary, he comes running out they have a room for tonight," said Barnes.

As a dog rescuer at an animal hospital, Barnes has adopted her share of pets.

"You know in a circumstance like this, you can't leave your friends behind," said Barnes.

And like a good pet mom, she didn't.

"No way, how can you? I go home and find them dead. I can't do it. I love these guys," said Barnes.

And although their extended stay is in the car, they're safe and sound.

Barnes has waited out six hurricanes, but this time the evacuation was mandatory.

"It was just bumping up the coast and I'm 66 years old and have a few more years, I'd like to enjoy," said Barnes.

Barnes hopes her home is just as lucky.

"Hopefully they'll be an angel hanging on top and she will save it for me," said Barnes.

And if not, having the love of her furry babies is all that she needs.

Barnes only has a hotel room for one night.

But she hopes someone will cancel so they can stay for the next few days.

If not, she plans to take go to Red Cross shelter at ABAC.

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