December 1, 2017

Life-saving Flight Transports Nearly 100 Animals from St. Croix to Mainland

ASPCA volunteers preparing dogs for transport

On November 30, the ASPCA collaborated 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 DepotCharleston Animal SocietyHalifax 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 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.”

A dog in a crate waiting to be transported

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. 

ASPCA volunteers loading the carriers onto the plane