The Halifax Humane Society is in the process of finding homes for dogs from St. Croix that were displaced due to Hurricane Maria.
The shelter received 21 homeless dogs that were part of a larger group of 56 cats and dogs that were relocated and placed in four animal shelters in Florida and New York. The animals had been cared for by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at an emergency shelter and were transported by Cloud Nine Rescue Flights on Nov. 11 and 12.
Funding was through the ASPCA, who also requested shelters take in the animals.
"ASPCA reached out to shelters in Florida and we felt we could help at this time," Barry KuKes, Halifax Humane Society community outreach director, said. "Sometimes we are at capacity with dogs — as we are with cats right now — and cannot assist other shelters, but at the time we were comfortable taking in up to 25 dogs."
The local Humane Society took in 12 Chihuahuas, eight of which are puppies, four hound dogs, one terrier mix and one boxer, among others. The dogs were picked up in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, Nov. 11
"Approximately 17,000 animals impacted by Hurricane Maria have been assisted by the ASPCA through the distribution of critical pet supplies," according to a press release from the organization.
KuKes noted that hurricanes have increased the number of homeless animals in the area and in other areas, such as Puerto Rico and Houston. He explained that without shelters like HHS taking in these homeless dogs and cats, they would "wander the streets hungry, scared and homeless."
Out of the 21 dogs, nine have been adopted, five are in foster care until they can be adopted, three are on a medical hold, and four are on the adoption floor and available.
The Humane Society will also be taking in another group of animals from St. Croix. Though a number has not yet been determined, there are expected to be around 20 animals brought in, according to KuKes. This transfer will happen on Thursday, Nov. 30.
"This is important to do because we have a responsibility to find homes for all animals, not just the ones in our care directly," KuKes said. "We often help other shelters promote their animals and we accept animals from other shelters when they are at capacity as well."
For more information as to when these animals will be made available for adoption at the Halifax Humane Society, call 386-274-4703 or visit halifaxhumanesociety.org