Just in time for Valentine’s week, 16 more rescue dogs form Puerto Rico arrived Friday night at the Nassau Humane Society in Fernandina Beach. They’ll be available for meet-and-greets and pre-adoption starting this weekend.
Puerto Rico’s stray-animal population has been estimated in the hundreds of thousands. U.S. rescue groups are trying to help, and the Nassau County shelter has already welcomed 30 dogs from two prior airlifts organized by Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Palm Beach County. All 30 have been adopted.
“A total of 166 dogs came over in today’s airlift,” NHS Operations Manager Mandy Holden said Friday. Some of the dogs transported to NHS “are a little nervous, but that’s to be expected,” she said. “They’re all super-happy and friendly.”
They appear to range in age from about 10 weeks to 3 years.
Mandy and NHS Medical Department Manager Gracie Redden returned the animals from the Palm Beach County airport in NHS’s rescue van. “The last two groups of dogs we’ve pulled have flourished at the shelter,” Gracie said. Thanks to the staff, volunteers and adopters, “we got to see their true personalities and find the right families for them.”
Mandy said the dogs came from a severely overcrowded animal sanctuary in Puerto Rico. “They lived in dirt kennels and never got the chance to explore anything. A lot of them were born at the sanctuary because of limitations on resources for spaying and neutering.” The dogs were behavior-tested before the transport to Florida, Mandy said.
The 16 dogs will be examined this weekend by NHS’s medical staff, including a veterinarian. All of the animals will probably need spay-neuter operations, which NHS will pay for, before they go to their forever homes. But potential adopters can meet them and pre-adopt them.
The new arrivals include a mom dog named Uma and her 5 puppies, about 10 weeks old — Limón, Pepino, Kiwi, Piña and Lima.
Gracie said NHS “offers help to as many other shelters and rescues as we can. We will continue to help as many dogs and cats as possible, including the dogs from Puerto Rico, because that’s our mission.”
“We are saving them from a place that doesn’t have the luxury of spay/neuter surgeries, heartworm treatment, flea prevention, and more,” Mandy added.
“If you are able, please consider making a monetary donation toward the medical care for these animals,” she said. “Your support also helps make future transports possible.”
Donations can be made at this link, in person at 639 Airport Road in Fernandina Beach, or by calling (904) 321-1647. More information about the Puerto Rican dogs, and all of NHS’s adoptable pets, will be available at this link and on NHS’s Facebook page.