At the request of the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), Osceola County Animal Services received 17 homeless dogs displaced by Hurricane Maria in St. Croix on Thursday.
The ASPCA is collaborating with the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team to transport a total of 95 cats and dogs from the ASPCA’s emergency shelter in St. Croix, and place them with animal shelters, including Cat Depot, Charleston Animal Society, Halifax Humane Society, and the Osceola Animal Shelter where they will be made available for adoption.
“I’m sure each of these animals has a unique story. It’s my hope that they will find a new home with loving owners here in Osceola County,” said Osceola Commission Chairman Brandon Arrington. “This is a reminder that a natural disaster not only affects people but also their pets. I’m sure that residents will open their hearts to these animals and make a difference in their lives. And in turn theses dogs will return that affection and bring joy to their new owners.”
“Relocating animals displaced by the storm gives them an opportunity to move on to the next chapter of their lives while we continue to support local agencies by providing daily care for rescued animals and helping pet owners in need,” said Jessica Rushin, partnerships senior manager for ASPCA Field Investigations & Response. “The ASPCA is grateful to work with response partners, including Osceola County, to make this life-saving effort possible so these animals will have a chance to find safe and loving homes.”
Nearly 450 animals currently are being cared for at the ASPCA’s emergency shelter on St. Croix, which was established after the largest animal shelter on the island was severely damaged by the storm and forced to temporarily halt operations. Since late September, more than 100 ASPCA responders have deployed to the devastated island to conduct field rescues and provide daily care for displaced animals at the emergency shelter.