As the human death toll rises since Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas, so have the deaths of 113 cats and dogs while being kept at the Humane Society of Grand Bahama.
There has since been an uplifting update posted on the organization’s Facebook page.
“As a final recap for the day, we had presents arrive on the docks for the shelter in Lucaya (thank you Leah and friends — send us your contact info) AND the biggest find of the day, 15 more shelter dogs who survived the storm hiding out in the back!! Unbelievable!! We just might need a bigger transport plane.”
According to the Miami Herald, the shelter which was located in an area more than ten feet above sea level, it experienced a storm surge nearing 20 feet high; five feet of flood waters filled the building. Executive director of the organization, Tip Burrows told the heartbreaking story.
“We’ve been through several storms there with no flooding issues at all. So the water all of sudden just started rushing in, they described it sort of like a raging river.”
Six shelter staff who had stayed behind to be with the animals had to climb up into the ceiling for two hours and were able to swim to safety.
There were dog and cat survivors however; 156 dogs and cats including 26 pets who had been relocated prior to the beginning of the hurricane.
“Tammy Henkle Goode It is bittersweet! Heartbreaking for the animals that lost their lives, but I’m happy for the ones that survived! The staff that stayed behind are true heroes! RIP sweet angels.”
The Humane Society of Grand Bahama is the ONLY animal shelter on the island. Please note they were not in an evacuation zone. Where would 250 animals go, and how would they get there?
Some of the surviving pets have been reunited with their owners, and the rest will be moved to the Florida area courtesy of Wings of Rescue. After landing in Fort Lauderdale, the pets will be sent to various rescue organizations. Many have been exposed to bacterial infections often picked up from contaminated water and will need veterinary care and vaccinations. They will not be allowed in the United States unless in good health. The USDA is working with local and state authorities to facilitate the rescue as quickly as possible.
UPDATE: “Our plans are almost complete for an airlift of our beloved shelter animals to the U.S. Once clearances are confirmed, we will share details here. We are close to take-off! All the animals will fly out at the same time.
“Many people have asked how they can help and, right now, the best way is to donate either through the GoFundMe Page for “Save The Potcakes Bahamas” by Jacque Petrone listed below (this is our only sanctioned GoFundMe) or through the Kohn Foundation. All proceeds from with site will directly benefit HSGB. Both links are below.”
Rest in peace sweet dogs and cats.
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