Almost 400 cats, dogs rescued from Virgin Islands

Marsha Scott
September 28, 2017

President Donald Trump on Thursday declared that a major disaster exists in the territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands and ordered federal aid to supplement recovery efforts in the territory due to Hurricane Maria beginning on September 16 and continuing, according to a release issued by the White House.

"This is a Herculean effort to save these animals", Gear told Virginia Beach TV news station WAVY 10. Originally, she planned to fly groups of 20 animals gathered from St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix up to the continental US every day for a week following Irma's land fall.

She now lives on a farm in Virginia Beach, where she runs Island Dog Rescue, which finds homes in the U.S. for abandoned Caribbean dogs. "People have moved heaven and earth to make this happen". The animals landed safely in Norfolk, Virginia, around 2 a.m. on Tuesday. "I'm exhausted emotionally, physically - but spiritually, I'm not", she told The Virginian-Pilot. So now, she's helping those who are helpless.

Before and after the storm hit, Gear and a few friends worked to arrange for the animals to come to the states.

In a statement, the ASPCA said: "Moving that many animals is no easy task - each animal is examined by a veterinarian, behavior checks are performed, and since the animals are being transported out of state, health certificates are completed".

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"I honestly, I was about to start crying", says Tinsley Sarrett, who helped bring the animals from the airport to the farm.

The dogs have been in cages since the storm hit - only being taken out for walks. They're relocating 100 animals from Miami to a specially devised shelter in SC.

She had made multiple visits to the US Virgin Islands since Irma, and was appalled at the devastation - and at the now-homeless animals left to fend for themselves.

Locals have already contributed more than $2,000 worth of staples for those who have lost their homes to the recent hurricane, organizers said. "They just need a home".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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