Local nonprofit helps rescue animals from earthquake-stricken Puerto Rico

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Animals have always had a place in Sali Gear’s heart.

She has four rescues at home, but she’s taken her passion and turned it into a way to help others. She now runs Island Dog Rescue.

“We’re a nonprofit organization birthed from Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which is where I grew up,” Gear said.

The organization focuses on low-cost or no-cost spay and neuter programs, partnerships with veterinarians, humane education and transport of animals.

Gear was in the U.S. Navy for 20 years and now works with United Airlines. When she heard about the earthquakes that continued to hit Puerto Rico she knew she had to help. She has dedicated fosters there who she interacts with often.

Gear said on Tuesday a flight is coming from Puerto Rico with 43 dogs and cats. She says she’s not only helping save animals, but people too.

“There are people that wont leave, they will not leave without their dogs, cats, and animals,” she said.

She says the animals are arriving in Miami Tuesday and then will be driven up to Hampton Roads, where they will be given to different rescue organizations.

Gear says they are looking to take donations. $75 funds a crate from Puerto Rico to the United States — and it’s a big crate that can hold more than one animal.

Click here to visit Island Dog Rescue’s Facebook page.

RELATED: 9 members of Virginia Task Force 2 respond to Puerto Rico

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