Even though the 426 inmates at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office jail on Stock Island evacuated Saturday to get out of Hurricane Irma’s path, along with the 125 corrections deputies who guard them, the holding cells are now occupied by a diverse collection of fauna.
The Sheriff’s Office takes care of more than 100 animals — ranging from llamas, to skunks, to prairie dogs, to Mo the sloth — at the Animal Farm, located outside the jail.
And, just like the people living in the Keys, their lives were disrupted by the powerful Irma. After the inmates left the jail and moved to a facility in Palm Beach County to ride out the storm, the animals moved in.
“We spent a number of hours last night moving them from the farm into the jail,” said Deputy Becky Herrin, the Sheriff’s Office media relations said. “They’re occupying the holding cells.”
The animals were brought to the Animal Farm over the years for a variety of reasons, Herrin said.
“They’re abused, they’re abandoned, someone couldn’t take care of them anymore,” Herrin said. “They just build up.”
David Goodhue: 305-440-3204