SAN DIEGO — San Diego Humane Society’s Emergency Response Team staff and volunteers are in Florida helping out with animal recovery and rescue efforts after Hurricane Ian barreled through the area.

Saturday was the team’s first day of helping in Florida — it is a team of four members: three are staff and one is a volunteer.

FOX 5 spoke with one of the volunteers, who is in the heart of where a lot of the damage took place.

“Currently, we are in Lee County, we are at the Lee County Animal Shelter,” said Summer Piper, San Diego Humane Society Emergency Response Team volunteer.

Piper is a longtime volunteer with the San Diego Humane Society’s Emergency Response Team. She’s trading in her usual fire deployments to volunteer in her first hurricane.

Hurricane Ian devastated Florida’s west coastline with record storm surge, rain and powerful winds. Piper is cleaning up at the Lee County Animal Shelter because there has only been three employees for 250 animals.

“The dogs haven’t been out in probably four days now,” Piper said. “You can see all the debris on the ground that came through the water, some down trees, these are the kennels we cleaned up and some of the debris from that today,” Piper said.

The San Diego team left town on Friday. Piper and another flew to Sarasota, Florida, getting there late Friday night. They picked up a truck and drove down to Lee County on Saturday morning. Piper said it is normally an hour-and-a-half drive, but it took them six hours.

“There’s no power, all the intersections are out, most of the roads are flooded. We had a good turnaround, couple turnaround points where there was too much water,” Piper said.

The team will be there for 10 days. Animal search and rescue and water operations are some of their tasks.

“Every day is probably going to be a bit of a different day, we play it by ear. They give us new assignments, and see where the areas of need are,” Piper said.

The San Diego Humane Society got the call from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) its the biggest request the humane society has gotten in four years.

“It gives you that feeling that you can help somebody’s family that they are already in distress, and also to help their animals as well, so it’s a really good feeling,” Piper said.