MADISON, N.J. (CBS) — Hundreds of pets have been left homeless after the devastating earthquakes in Puerto Rico. But after an incredibly long journey, many of those animals have a chance at a new life on the United States mainland.
For a number of precious pets, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey is more than a temporary home.
About 40 dogs arrived at the shelter over the weekend after traveling more than 1,000 miles from the earthquake-ravaged island of Puerto Rico.
“We have some younger, puppy-like dogs and then there are probably some in the 3-4, so there are adult ones as well,” Michelle Thevenin said.
She says the canines were removed from shelters overwhelmed with the new rescues on the island.
“You typically think, oh, they’re going to euthanize all the animals, but no, they sent them to us so we could adopt them out,” Thevenin said.
Animal rescue teams airlifted about 100 pets from San Juan and delivered them to shelters in New Jersey and other states in a race to get them adopted.
“There are over half a million stray dogs across Puerto Rico,” Eric Larnick from the SATO Project said.
Larnick orchestrated the effort in conjunction with Wings of Rescue which flew the at-risk pets to safety.
“They’re already gone through a vetting process. They’ve already been treated clinically so their chances for adoption are pretty great,” Larnick said.
The organizations also delivered much-needed supplies to the people of Puerto Rico who are still living in the disaster zone.
As the island continues to recover, they hope the animals find new families to love them in the United States.
Families interested in the pets can visit St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center for more details.