Rescue group saves hundreds of animals from hurricane-ravaged Caribbean

MIAMI SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - The Animal Rescue Corps brought almost 200 dogs and cats from the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Martin to Miami International Airport after they were left homeless by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Both storms devastated islands in the Caribbean, and homeless animals were among its victims.

“Tonight is the beginning of new lives for these dogs that we’ve been working so hard to get off the island of St. Martin,” said Scotlund Hailsey, the rescue group’s founder. “These animals, most of them were already in shelters or in foster care there, but they have no opportunity for placement there now.”

The animals stretched their legs at the Miami Springs Dog Park as they got ready for their 15-hour road trip to Tennessee.

They’ll be taken to a shelter near Nashville to be medically evaluated and treated if necessary.

“It was important to get them here to the U.S., so we can soon give them the opportunity to be loved members of a family,” said Hailsey.

This is the ARC’s third hurricane relief effort in recent weeks.

From Puerto Rico, the Humane Society of Broward County and Wings of Rescue touched down Friday night at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport with nearly 100 animals.

“We brought two and a half tons of humanitarian supplies in, and coming out, we’re bringing the pets that have been displaced by the storm,” said Wings of Rescue’s Ric Browde

Thirty-two cats and 62 dogs were loaded off the plane.

The animals were put onto trucks to be taken to their shelter.

For now, they’ll recover from the long three-and-a-half hour trip from San Juan.

“We’re going to let them rest, and then tomorrow our clinic staff will hopefully be able to start checking some of them,” said Humane Society of Broward spokesperson Cherie Wachter.

Wachter hopes the animals will be put up for adoption soon.

Wachter said it’s a much needed lifeline for animals now looking for a new “forever home.” “This is really life and death for these animals,” she said.

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