The central mass plays a role in the rescue of pets


Bradford L. Miner, Correspondent

Away from the destruction of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the Worcester Animal Rescue League and Second Chance Animal Shelter and Wellness Clinic are doing their part to help displaced animals find homes here.

More recently, an airlift organized by Island Dog Rescue, a Virginia-based nonprofit, brought 300 dogs from St. Croix two days before Hurricane Maria added insult to injury from the hurricane. Irma.

Eight of these dogs are now in quarantine at the WARL shelter at 139 Holden St. and will likely be ready for adoption this weekend or early next week.

Allie Tellier, executive director of WARL, said with Hurricane Harvey and Houston’s needs, closely followed by Irma and now Maria, she knew help would be needed.

“One of our board members, Kristin Mullins, had been in contact with the folks at the Humane Society of St. Thomas and through various contacts we reached out to Island Dog Rescue immediately after the storm. “said Ms. Tellier.

Island Dog Rescue specializes in rescuing dogs from the US Virgin Islands.

“The race started because of Hurricane Maria and the evacuation scheduled for September 21 had to be postponed until September 18 to leave the island before the storm hit,” she said.

WARL’s manager described the 300 dogs as animals that were already in a shelter or with a rescue group on the islands, waiting to be adopted.

“These are not dogs that were found wandering the streets after the hurricane, waiting to be reunited with their owners,” she added.

Ms. Tellier said that while the dogs in crates were being loaded onto the chartered cargo plane, she told the crew working in St. Thomas that WARL had room for eight dogs.

“We sent a van to Virginia once they arrived and brought them back.”

She explained that to be brought into the United States, animals must be in good general health, free from contagious diseases and have health certificates documenting vaccinations, including rabies.

“The eight dogs we have seem to be healthy and very friendly and social, and I think they will find homes very quickly,” Ms Tellier said.

She said the dogs on the island in general are a healthy mix of breeds and those currently at the shelter weigh between 10 and 40 pounds.

“And all of them have sweet, grateful, relieved looks,” WARL’s executive director said.

She said that because Massachusetts state law requires out-of-state pets to be quarantined for 48 hours, they are in a separate part of the building and would be examined Friday morning by a veterinarian.

“Once cleared, the dogs will be sterilized or castrated if necessary; given all necessary vaccinations; and evaluated and treated for any medical issues. They could be adopted as early as this weekend, and once these guys are adopted, we’ll be accepting more as space opens up,” she said.

Ms Tellier said that while the Worcester Animal Rescue League’s priority is the care of animals in Central Mass., when the opportunity arises to reach out and help others, that is what we do and will continue to do. to do.

“Even before storm problems arose, many of these islands like Puerto Rico had a serious animal overpopulation problem. Collectively, shelters and rescue organizations in the North East have been very proactive about neutering and responsible pet ownership,” she said, adding that our partnerships help shelters in other regions. of the country where this is not the case.

She said that while there may be a sense of helplessness in the face of recent natural disasters with thousands of people and pets in need of help, even helping the eight dogs as they did, makes a difference.

Sheryl Blancato, executive director of Second Chance Animal Shelter and Wellness Clinic, said the shelter recently welcomed 98 pets from Florida shelters, flown two days in a row to Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Washington. Connecticut. Second Chance’s shelter is in East Brookfield and its wellness clinic is located in North Brookfield.

“We took in 28 dogs one day and 70 cats the next and a lot of those dogs are already adopted,” Ms Blancato said.

She said out of necessity, the nonprofit set up a GoFundMe page to help cover medical costs for dogs and cats arriving from Florida.

“We’ve taken on a lot of the most difficult cases with medical needs and so far we’re estimating about $22,000 in related surgeries and procedures,” Ms. Blancato said.

Regarding the devastation in Puerto Rico, Ms Blancato said she was extremely worried.

“We framed a shelter on the western end of the island as part of the Operation Hope project and since the storm we have had no contact with them,” she said, explaining that Second Chance is one of 11 organizations across the country working with Puerto Rican shelters is tackling the problem of overpopulation, estimated at 300,000 stray dogs and 1 million stray cats.

Ms Tellier said the current status of dogs available for adoption can be found on WARL’s website, www.worcesterarl.org and WARL’s Facebook page.

Ms Blancato said information about Second Chance’s involvement in the rescue can be found at www.secondchanceanimals.org and Second Chance’s Facebook page.

The second chance “GoFundMe” page for help with Florida dog medical bills is www.gofundme.com/hurricanepetsatsecondchance

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