After surviving a hurricane, and spending two long days traveling, some animals are stretching their legs in Maine. About 30 cats and dogs from the U.S. Virgin Islands have been rescued and brought to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, where they will be up for adoption in about two weeks.
“Especially in emergency situations like this, we have to respond,” said ARLGP spokesperson, Jeana Roth.
The Westbrook, Maine shelter acts as a safety net during natural disasters. When pets are abandoned, or need to evacuate, the ARLGP is one of the shelters that accepts them.
But back-to-back hurricanes in the Caribbean have made transports challenging.
The Puerto Rican rescue group All Soto Rescue had saved about 100 dogs after Hurricane Irma. Dozens were expected to fly to Maine. But then Hurricane Maria hit.
“Because of the impact, they weren’t able to send those animals,” said Roth. “So they have hundreds of animals in their care right now.”
Hundreds of animals were flown out of USVI, only because donations through nonprofit Island Dog Rescue paid for a charter plane this week.
Cats and dogs were flown to Virginia Wednesday, and driven up to Maine early Thursday morning.
“We’re giving them lots of love and affection,” said Roth.
They need to be under quarantine for at least two weeks. Depending on their medical needs, the animals could be up for adoption once that quarantine ends.
For now, Roth said the community can help by adopting animals currently at their Westbrook shelter. Every animal adopted now makes room for a hurricane pet to receive care.
“I’m glad we’re making room for other animals to come in and get forever homes too,” said Barbara Davis, adopting a puppy at the shelter Friday.
Roth said Friday evening the shelter will accept 20-30 more hurricane pets: these ones from regions impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
“We’ll be helping hurricane impacted shelters for weeks, if not months to come,” said Roth.