Rescue Transport for 34 Crucian Island Dogs

St. Croix 🛫 Puerto Rico 🛫Miami 🚍Orlando.

That was the journey for 34 Crucian Island dogs and pups who were en route to our shelters last month for a Valentine’s Day rescue operation. This busy but rewarding few days began with transferring the dogs from our partner St. Croix Animal Welfare Center from their shelter in Kingshill.

Right now, you’re probably asking, “who are these dogs?” and “why all the fuss?”

As most Central Floridians remember vividly, we had a few hurricanes back in 2017—namely Maria and Irma. While we recovered pretty quickly state side, some islands (including St.Croix) still feel the effects. Our partnership with St. Croix Animal Welfare Center brings life saving aid to the pet population on the island.

Three-month-old puppy found in a pile of Hurricane Maria debris

“There were far too many unwanted and abandoned animals to begin with, and then the effects of Hurricane Maria,” said Asha Colianni, Clinic Administration via Facebook chat. “Many people left island and left their pets behind, either in the care of neighbors or family, or just abandoned them. People are still coming in regularly to surrender a dog, saying that they have been caring for it since Maria, and can’t do it any longer.”

Also, as a result of the storm, many people lost their gates and fences. So their animals – usually unaltered – have been free to roam. With so many animals being surrendered and scooped off the streets, it’s a common practice to reach out to other reputable shelters to see if transferring is possible if a shelter is at or near capacity. This can help ensure that pets are adopted, and more animals are moved through the shelter.

But when you’re on an island… you have to get a bit more creative. For these 34 dogs transferred to Pet Alliance, they took the scenic route! Boarding two planes, crossing an ocean, and traveling for two days to reach Central Florida to find their forever homes.

The proof is in the pups who were all adopted that this was the right call to aid in their transfer. Your support went a long way in making sure these animals found their fresh start here in the Central Florida community. 

Learn more St. Croix Animal Welfare Center here. Please consider becoming a monthly sustaining Shelter Star to help Pet Alliance continue to pursue similar life-saving work.