As our supporters and friends know, Cape Ann Animal Aid has been operating on all fronts these past two months. From donation drives to fundraising pleas for help, we continue to do all that we can to send supplies and accommodate increased intake from rescue partners in regions recently hit by hurricanes. While this goal was ambitious, and left our shelter filled to over 50% of our average capacity, we have the support of many to thank for helping to make it all happen. To date, we have been able to take in animals from St. Croix, Turks and Caicos, Texas, and Puerto Rico – with more rescue trips in the works.
But in the midst of all of this, we were compelled to maintain our previously scheduled rescue transport trips with partner shelters in other regions of the United States. These groups were not directly impacted by the hurricanes, but they were and are still facing an up-hill battle in regards to animal overpopulation and high euthanasia rates. These rescue partners in Georgia and Louisiana were still counting on us and we couldn’t let them down.
Thankfully, Cape Ann Animal Aid was recently awarded an $8,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to support our Safe Harbor Transportation Program. The purpose of this grant was to help us extend our animal lifesaving efforts and serve the Petco Foundation’s mission to raise the quality of life for pets and people who love and need them. Thanks to this funding support, we were able to uphold our previously-scheduled transport plans, saving 66 animals from Louisiana and Georgia since September 1st. We send deepest thanks to the Petco Foundation for believing in our mission and investing in this important work.
At the end of September, two of our staff members, Kayla and Jacquie, set out on one of these transport pick ups, coordinated in partnership with Sweet Paws Rescue. They drove over 650 miles to the meeting point in Virginia and returned to Massachusetts with 15 dogs and 3 cats from Louisiana. This trip included nursing mama, Foxy, and her seven puppies (seen below).
Last week, Cape Ann Animal Aid joined forces with several Massachusetts rescue groups and shelters, in partnership with All Sato Rescue, to save over 180 animals from Puerto Rico (see video below).
We were honored to be a part of this life-changing transport and we send thanks to all who made it possible, including Wings of Rescue, Mission Miracle K-9 Rescue and ILoveMyDogSoMuch.com. In addition, we send special thanks to our supporters, many of whom made donations towards the fuel expense for this trip. The outpouring of love, support, and interest in these animals has been overwhelming and truly heart-warming.
We welcomed six cats and eleven dogs from this transport here at our Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter. We gave them a few days to settle in and relax. Tomorrow, many will get spayed/neutered. We expect that they will be available for adoption later this week or this weekend so keep an eye on our website. They are looking forward to meeting you all very soon!
DONATION DRIVE UPDATE
There will never be enough words to thank you all for hearing our call for help and responding immediately with donations to help our rescue partners in hurricane-hit regions.
We are now collecting donations to send to our rescue partners in Puerto Rico, Texas, and Turks and Caicos!
Another transport from Texas is expected to arrive at our shelter on October 9th. We're so happy to be able to help more animals that recently experienced such terrifying weather. After we unload the pups (and give them lots of love and attention), we'll be filling the transport van with animal care and cleaning supplies to return to Texas. We also have shipping containers to get items to our rescue partners in Puerto Rico.
That same week, we have an opportunity to get much needed donations down to our friends in Turks and Caicos. A generous donor is holding two pallets of space for these donations in a cargo shipment scheduled to go out on October 9th. The Turks and Caicos SPCA, which recently had power restored after 20 days without, is working hard to help the animals in their community, including many orphaned puppies in need of Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer (puppy formula).
Donations can be dropped off at our Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter during open hours. If you'd rather shop online, check out our Hurricane Relief Amazon Wish List and items will be shipped to us.
We are in close contact with our beloved rescue partners in Puerto Rico, both on the mainland and on the island of Vieques. The level of devastation they are facing is unimaginable. We are on standby to help however possible. Unfortunately, mail delivery is still stalled and they are unable to drive and pick up any shipments to them at this time. They are conserving any gas they have left for the possibility of any animal rescue transport trips and want to be able to get the animals to the airport when needed. We will be sure to keep you updated. Thank you for your continued support!
UPDATED 10/2/2017 WITH INFORMATION ABOUT PUERTO RICO SHIPMENT PLANS AND NEW LIST.
Late Tuesday night, we welcomed 27 cats and kittens, evacuated from St. Croix Animal Welfare Center in the path of Hurricane Maria. This amazing and inspiring rescue effort and was led by members of Island Dog Rescue with help from St. Croix Animal Welfare Society and R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats. Together, they saved over 300 animals off of the U.S. Virgin Islands. We were honored to be contacted by this group of rescuers and to open our doors and welcome as many cats and kittens as possible. The cats are settling in and we look forward to sharing photos and more information with you soon.
Unfortunately, word from St. Croix Animal Welfare Society posted yesterday through Island Dog Rescue's Facebook page is heartbreaking. The hurricane completely destroyed their facility. From their post: "The puppy room and cat room are completely gone. Roofs blown away. The expensive, heavy metal cages smashed and blown all over..." We are so thankful that these animals were saved from such destruction.
Meanwhile, we await word from all of our other rescue contacts. From Vieques, Puerto Rico, the fate of the rescuers and their facility is unknown. The mainland rescuers of Our Big Fat Caribbean Rescue reported on their Facebook page late last night that they still had not heard updates from many of their team members. Power and phone lines across Puerto Rico and the island of Vieques are completely down, making it hard to connect with our friends and confirm any news.
In Turks and Caicos, our rescue partners are facing a difficult road ahead. A recent update says they have "many orphaned pups in the adoption center, and more coming in daily". They are in dire need of good quality puppy formula and donations.
Our hearts break to read these updates. We will do our absolute best to take great care of the dogs still with us from Texas and now, these 27 sweet cats from St. Croix. Our mission is to give them the best care, lots of love, and to find them the best homes ever! We are ready and willing to take in more animals over the coming months as the rescues continue and rebuilding begins.
There are many ways to help all of the shelters impacted by recent hurricanes. Donations to our Safe Harbor Fund are welcome and will be used to coordinate rescue transports for animals in hurricane-impacted regions. (The 1:1 matching challenge for Safe Harbor Fund donations will continue until 5pm, Thursday, September 21st.)
Additionally, donations can be made directly to our partner organizations using these links:
St. Croix Animal Welfare Society - St. Croix
All Sato Rescue - Puerto Rico
Wags to Riches - Puerto Rico
Our Big Fat Caribbean Rescue - Vieques, Puerto Rico
Chances Dog Rescue and Relocation - Texas
Potcake Place - Turks and Caicos
Together, we will come together and help our friends heal, repair, and rebuild their lives. Thank you for standing with us!
UPDATE: Read more about this heroic rescue effort in a recent Huffington Post article.
Cape ann animal aid
An opportunity for you to learn more about the mission and programs of Cape Ann Animal Aid. Sharing candid insights, guest columns, breaking news, and of course, adorable photos of shelter animals.