More than 80 cats who survived the devastating flooding at the Humane Society of Grand Bahama that killed about 100 shelter pets following Hurricane Dorian arrived in New Jersey on Wednesday evening.
Wings of Rescue flew the cats from the Bahamas to the Morristown Municipal Airport, where staff from St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, a part of the Humane Rescue Alliance, met them. HRA/St. Hubert’s staff proceeded to transport the cats to its Madison, New Jersey, shelter, where the animals will receive triage care and prepare for adoption.
Hurricane Dorian delivered an unexpected amount of rainfall to the Bahamas, causing a colossal storm surge that flooded the interior of the Humane Society of Grand Bahama shelter.
As the water levels rose, six shelter staff members desperately tried to secure the safety of the animals in their care by stacking crates of cats on top of one another and putting dogs on tables until the last possible second. It was only when the water reached their necks that the shelter employees pulled one another into a small crawl space in the attic.
The staff remained in the attic for hours as the storm continued to ravage the island, listening as the animals’ howls and cries turned into chilling silence. All of the staff survived, lashing themselves together and swimming from the shelter, as did about 150 animals. The flooding from the Category 5 hurricane killed about 100 animals.
“The Humane Society of Grand Bahama team who risked their lives to save as many animals as possible demonstrated exceptional bravery and strength,” said Lisa LaFontaine, President and CEO of the Humane Rescue Alliance. “We are united with our sisters and brothers at HSGB in grieving the ones who were lost – and that grief will linger. For today, we are focused on the miracles. Thanks to these humane heroes, more than 150 animals escaped certain death. The team in the Bahamas is an inspiration, and we are truly honored to welcome these amazing and resilient cats into our care.”
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