VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Next month will mark one year since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and there are hundreds of dogs still searching for homes since the flooding.
As part of 10 On Your Side’s Clear the Shelters campaign, we are bringing you inside local shelters and farms to show you just how many pets are still searching for a loving home.
The dogs were taken to Island Dog Rescue Farm in Virginia Beach and 37 of them were transferred in with the help of shelters in Miami. The puppies arrived at 3 a.m. on Sunday.
Laura Jens is a foster mom who spends time at the farm.
“Anybody that has ever had a dog knows the unconditional love they provide,” said Jens. “I’ve fallen in love with Piper, because, just look at how cute she is.”
However, Piper the puppy has been through so much.
“Once she gets to know you she is a little cuddle bug,” Jens said.
Caroline Needham is a volunteer at Island Dog Rescue and says she has fallen in love with all of the rescued puppies.
“They probably would have been euthanized, which is the sad truth,” said Needham. “We know the routine [because] we’ve done this so many times.”
Last year, Island Dog Rescue took in 400 dogs.
“We cleared the Saint Croix and Saint Thomas shelters and some from Puerto Rico,” said Needham. “It’s hard seeing what they go through.”
According to Needham, some of the puppies have suffered seizures, other surrendered, others taken off the streets of Puerto Rico, just roaming around.
“But seeing the outcome is probably what’s the best thing,” said Needham. “I hope they all find that one person that they can grow with and bring them out of their shells.”
The hope is that these animals will find happy and loving homes in our community and find a place where they can eat, play and get the second chance they so deserve.
“I want to save them all, I know I can’t but that’s why it takes everyone to step up,” Jens said.
According to the farm, all of the dogs have vaccines, and are spayed or neutered. Some of them went to the Norfolk SPCA and to Gloucester.
If you are interested in fostering one of the dogs or if you’re looking to adopt, click here or visit the shelter located at 2424 London Bridge Road in Virginia Beach.