Hurricane Maria animal transport

Hurricane Maria has devastated Puerto Rico, knocking out power and water to millions and disrupting the delivery of the most basic supplies. The Humane Society of Broward County (HSBC) is doing what it can to help the people and animals of the storm-stricken island.

On Friday with the help of W Aviation, HSBC and Wings of Rescue airlifted 5,000 pounds of supplies to Puerto Rico. On the return trip, the plane brought back nearly 100 animals from a San Juan animal shelter to Fort Lauderdale’s Executive Airport.

Many of the cats and dogs – mostly kittens and puppies — have already found homes with families (pictured below) in Florida. However, several are still available for adoption.

Puerto Rico is home to a large number of stray animals and a recent economic downturn has only made the problem worse. Now the massive amount of damage caused by Hurricane Maria has further complicated efforts to help Puerto Rico’s orphaned dogs and cats.

Since Sept. 25, HSBC along with Wings of Rescue,, staff from the South Florida Wildlife Care Center and the Humane Society of the United States, have been transporting humanitarian aid items for the people and pets of Puerto Rico.

For over a week, Wings of Rescue has been making two flights daily, delivering thousands of pounds of supplies with each flight. However, Friday’s transport was the first to bring animals to Broward County.

Earlier flights transported animals to St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey. From there, the pets will be placed at a number of shelters in the Northeast.

Our warehouse in Broward County has been a key staging point for the relief effort with HSBC staff packing and sorting the supplies. Private donors and corporations have been instrumental in supporting this massive relief effort.

Hurricane Maria animal transport

One of organizations that HSBC has been assisting is Save a Sato, a small nonprofit shelter in San Juan.

The workers at Save a Sato are grateful for the recent shipment of supplies, but they say the recovery effort will be a long one.

“Twenty days after Hurricane Maria, we still have no electricity and only 20 percent of communication (cellphone towers) up,” the shelter staff posted on Facebook on Monday.

HSBC also assisted an animal shelter affected by Hurricane Nate, which struck the Gulf Coast over the weekend. Before the storm, HSBC took in 10 dogs from the Humane Society of South Mississippi in Gulfport. Those dogs are now available for adoption at our shelter.

HSBC stands ready to provide additional aid to Puerto Rico and other storm ravaged areas and you can help as well. These life-saving efforts are only made possible by generous donations from people like you.

You can make a general donation on our website or you can help provide basic supplies like toys, treats and cleaning materials through our Amazon Wishlist.

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