ASPCA Partners with Wings of Rescue, PAART to Relocate Nearly 100 Animals Displaced by Hurricane Maria from St. Croix to Florida, South Carolina

Life-saving flight will transport homeless animals from ASPCA’s emergency shelter in the U.S. Virgin Islands to mainland rescue groups
November 29, 2017

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is collaborating with Wings of Rescue and the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team to transport homeless animals displaced by Hurricane Maria to animal shelters in Florida and South Carolina to be made available for adoption. A total of 95 cats and dogs from the ASPCA’s emergency shelter in St. Croix will be transported and placed with four animal shelters, including Cat Depot, Charleston Animal Society, Halifax Humane Society, and the Osceola Animal Shelter.

This includes animals like Phelps, a chow mix puppy with a birth defect that impacts his ability to stand and walk normally. Phelps was born at the ASPCA’s emergency shelter in St. Croix and has been receiving regular physical therapy from the ASPCA’s medical team. While he has mobility limitations, he is improving his muscle development and gaining strength every day. Phelps will continue his rehabilitation at Halifax Humane Society until he is ready for a new home.

“Relocating animals displaced by the storm gives them an opportunity to move on to the next chapter of their lives while we continue to support local agencies by providing daily care for rescued animals and helping pet owners in need,” said Jessica Rushin, partnerships senior manager for ASPCA Field Investigations & Response. “The ASPCA is grateful to work with the Wings of Rescue, Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team and our response partners to make this life-saving flight possible so we can continue our disaster relief efforts.”

Nearly 450 animals have received care at the ASPCA’s emergency shelter, which was established after the largest animal shelter on the island was severely damaged by the storm and forced to temporarily halt operations. To date, more than 200 homeless cats and dogs have been relocated from the island to the States where they can be adopted into new homes.

Since late September, more than 100 ASPCA responders have deployed to St. Croix to conduct field rescues and provide daily care for displaced animals at the ASPCA’s emergency shelter. In addition, approximately 17,000 animals impacted by Hurricane Maria have been assisted by the ASPCA through the distribution of critical pet supplies. For the latest updates on the ASPCA's response, please visit

Thursday, November 30, 2017 @ 12 p.m. ET
**The flight can be tracked on by entering the tail number BYA308**

Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport
6000 NW 21st Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309