Humane Society takes in animals from Puerto Rico, deploys staff member to St. Croix

Emily Hartin and Maria Ramirez assess the health of a Puerto Rican rescue dog.


Today The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County (HSVB) announced that it assisted with the rescue of homeless animals arriving from Puerto Rico. Six dogs and one cat can now call the Treasure Coast their new home. HSVB staff warmly greeted Emilio, Dinorah, Carmen, Luis, Isaac, Pablo and Giselle late Tuesday afternoon on a flight arranged by the nonprofit organization Guardians of Rescue. HSVB was one of several animal organizations involved in assisting with this rescue effort.  

More animals are expected to arrive from hurricane-stricken areas in the coming weeks. this is the third group of animals from Puerto Rico who have found refuge at HSVB over the last several months. The Humane Society accepted groups of dogs last April and August prior to Hurricane Maria to help alleviate overcrowding in some of the island’s local animal shelters. Puerto Rico has struggled with a severe pet overpopulation problem, which was exacerbated by the destruction left behind after the storm. “Natural disasters can be a life-altering experience. Indian River County residents understand how hurricanes can impact animals and people, which is why our shelter tries to help in any way possible, whenever we can,” HSVB Director of Operations Maria Ramirez explained.

Over the next two weeks this lucky group of animals will vaccinated, spayed and neutered, microchipped and readied for adoption. Photos of the animals will be made available on the shelter’s website and Facebook.

In addition to providing sanctuary for animals in need, HSVB staff member Ashley Fugate left Florida on October 18 to assist with animal care on the hurricane-stricken island of St. Croix. Fugate will spend 12 days working as part of an animal rescue team deployed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Fugate is one of HSVB’s many highly-trained animal disaster responders. Other disaster response-trained staff and volunteers may be deployed over the coming weeks.

For more information call the Humane Society at (772) 388-3331 ext. 110. The Humane Society is a nonprofit animal protection organization located at 6230 77th St., Vero Beach, Florida

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