PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. (WSVN) — It was a milestone moment for a South Florida animal rights group that saved its 100th dog from Puerto Rico — and for a Palm Beach County family that opened their doors to give another of these precious pups a “fur-ever” home.
For the Montello family in Palm Beach County, meeting their new four-legged friend this weekend was an occasion filled with smiles, happiness, and pure joy.
Especially for little Angelina. “I just kept asking, ‘Daddy, Mommy, can I have a doggie?'” she said.
“She woke up in the middle of the night, and she didn’t go back to sleep, waiting for her dog to arrive,” said her mother, Arlene Montello.
But for Ginger, the Montellos’ new golden retriever, it has been a long and tough journey to a new loving home.
It all started more than 100 days ago in Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria came through, destroying everything in its path and leaving the island devastated.
Ginger’s owner lost everything in the disaster and was no longer able to support her.
The nonprofit organization Golden Rescue South Florida has stepped up to meet the need. “We were notified on Facebook that Puerto Rico had an abundance of golden retrievers that needed homes,” said Denise Libby with the organization.
Saturday morning at Miami International Airport, the group welcomed the latest group of pups up for adoption, fresh off the plane from Puerto Rico.
The 100th dog to be rescued, a 4-year-old golden retriever named Maya, got a specially marked crate for the ride.
The canines were all checked by vets and got ready to meet their new families, who are hand-picked and evaluated by Golden Rescue South Florida.
“We have a waitlist of people that we’ve done home visits on,” said Libby. “We’ve checked them out, and we try to match the dog with the house.”
Angelina is making big plans for her new best friend and is ready to rush home.
For this golden retriever, she will finally be retrieving that forever family.
“We’re going to be playing in the backyard,” said Angelina. “I’m going to be throw [the ball], and she’s gonna give it back to me.”
“For my daughter, it’s the perfect dog,” said Angelina’s dad.
“Today is that day. Yeah, it’s better than Christmas,” said Arlene.
Since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, golden retrievers are being surrendered at an overwhelming rate of two to five dogs per day. If you’d like to find out more about Golden Rescue South Florida, click here.
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