MADISON, N.J. (PIX11) — It was cargo that couldn’t have been more fragile — or adorable.

Shelter dogs and cats — 90 of them in total — arrived at Morristown Airport in New Jersey over the weekend after they were airlifted from southwest Florida, which was battered by Hurricane Ian last week. 

The animals were taken from regional shelters ahead of the storm, all to make room for what’s expected to be an influx of homeless and surrendered pets in Florida shelters in the coming days as residents begin to assess the damage.

Saint Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison is now housing some of those pups. The organization is no stranger to stepping up in times of disaster. Just last week, the shelter received a transport of dogs from Puerto Rico, which is still coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona. 

The dogs, some of them timid and others not so much, are now being medically evaluated before being placed for adoption. The process takes just about 48 hours. 

Natural disasters have become an unfortunate — and in some cases — annual reality, and house pets are often left behind. Laws have even been implemented to help our four-legged friends. 

Following the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans in 2005, Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006, requiring states that receive FEMA aid to accommodate pets in plans for evacuating residents in disasters.

As state and local officials begin to assess the full impact of Hurricane Ian in Florida, more airlifts transporting shelter animals out of the region and bringing them to New Jersey may be on the horizon. It all depends on the need.

Anyone interested in adopting or fostering one of the animals can contact Saint Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center on its website.