Caught in a Storm: How to Help the Animals of the Hurricane-Damaged Caribbean

how to help the animals of the hurricane
Photo by The Humane Society of the United States

The Caribbean has been relentlessly attacked by storms in recent months, causing catastrophic damages. While relief aid has been slow in countries such as Puerto Rico, there are some organizations working to help some of the island’s most helpless — the animals that have been caught in the storms.

Many people had to flee their homes, leaving their belongings and their pets behind. There are hundreds of thousands of abandoned cats and dogs that are terrified and in need of help. Equally, a lot of the Caribbean’s natural wildlife has been left in a critical state. AllTheRooms has roots in Puerto Rico — our CEO Joseph DiTomaso is half Puerto Rican — and the team wants to do what we can to help the Caribbean’s abandoned animals. So, we decided to dig around and find out how to help the animals of the hurricane. Here are the organizations that are really making a difference in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Barbuda. 

The Humane Society of Broward County

how to help the animals of the hurricane
Photo by Humane Society of Broward County

The Humane Society of Broward County (HSBC) has teamed-up with W Aviation and Wings of Rescue to bring cats and dogs from Puerto Rico to the United States for rehoming. A plane that airlifted supplies to Puerto Rico returned to America with nearly 100 animals. The animals – many of which were small kittens and puppies – were taken to Florida and have nearly all already been re-homed thanks to the organization’s efforts. There are a few left waiting for adoption. Find out more information about how you can help at the Humane Society of Broward County website.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare

help the animals of the hurricane
Photo by The Sato Project

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has been sending food, supplies, and experts to the hurricane-damaged island of the Dominican Republic. The island has been hit terribly hard by the hurricanes and there are hundreds of thousands of displaced pets and much of the natural wildlife is without a home. The situation is critical. The Dominican Republic is known for its biodiversity, and there are many native species suffering from the damages caused by the hurricane, including species such as the imperial amazon parrot and the hawksbill sea turtle. Find out more information on the IFAW disaster response and see how you can help.

The Sato Project

Rescue group The Sato Project has been saving abandoned and abused dogs on the island of Puerto Rico. Many dogs have been abandoned during the recent economic crisis, and even more have now been abandoned because of the hurricanes. The organization focused on the area of Yabucoa, which is the poorest of the Puerto Rico’s municipalities. Tragically, there is a beach called ‘Dead Dog Beach’, which is where unwanted dogs have been left to fend for themselves. This beach, in particular, was hit really badly by the hurricane. The Sato team takes food, water and medication to the beach daily, while also providing veterinary care for the dogs unlucky enough to be stranded there. Since Hurricane Maria, the organization has been evacuating dogs from the island, taking them to different locations in the States, and helping to find them new homes. Sato works alongside organizations such as non-profit NYC-based Animal Haven, to help rehome the animals.

PETA

help the animals of the hurricane
Photo by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

PETA has been on the ground in many of the affected areas in the Caribbean, helping to clear debris, repair enclosures, organize veterinary care and collect distressed and injured animals. They have evacuated some of the dogs that survived the hurricane, bringing them to various locations in the States. You can email PETA if you believe you could give a loving home to one of the pets. There’s an emergency fundraising cash to aid the situation on the ground. Support PETA’s Animal Emergency Fund.

The World Animal Protection

animals of the hurricane
Photo by The Humane Society of the United States

The World Animal Protection charity sent emergency teams to rescue and care for injured animals caught in the path of Hurricane Irma, which was the strongest Atlantic hurricane in history. They focused on the tiny island of Barbuda, where the situation for the animals has been described as ‘dire’. There was an exodus on the island as residents were evacuated ahead of the impending hurricane, and many pets were tragically left behind. Read more about the work The World Animal Protection is doing on the island of Barbuda and find out how you can help.

Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has been flying dogs, cats and horses off the island of Puerto Rico. They have been working alongside the Humane Society of Broward County, GreaterGood.org, Wings of Rescue, and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center to evacuate animals. The organization has formed relationships with shelters on the island and are assisting in multiple areas. Due to the complexity of sending supplies to the island, the HSUS has been working with large corporations to send bulk donations and supplies. You can donate to the HSUS Disaster Relief Fund to help make a difference. In addition, if you would like to foster a displaced pet, the organization provides a detailed list of shelters that you can contact (scroll down the page).

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