Missouri sending National Guard to help US Virgin Islands hurricane recovery

Sep 28, 2017, 00:12
Missouri sending National Guard to help US Virgin Islands hurricane recovery

Earlier in the week, the Miami-based cruise line Royal Caribbean International rerouted one of its ships to the U.S. Virgin Islands and the island of St. Martin in order rescue 304 people left behind in the storm - and 16 pets that belonged to them. The pets are now being cared for on a Virginia farm.

With only two days to plan before Maria made landfall, Gear had to raise the money to charter a plane so she could rescue 300 animals who were in harm's way. USVI public water systems have been significantly impacted by Hurricanes Maria and Irma and subsequent flooding, including by a loss of electrical power, and are not yet fully able to provide adequately treated water to meet the needs of those affected areas.

"I did it because it had to be done", Gear told the Virginian Pilot.

Getting those dogs back to America was a bigger task than anything she'd done before, so Gear turned to the web for help. They landed at Norfolk International Airport around 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday. She said that that her crowdfunding effort began simply as "two people having Island Dog Rescue on social media creating a swell of support", and that "people have moved heaven and earth to make this happen".

They padded the doors and prepared for the first hit from the storm.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says they're still finding animals alone wherever the storm hit.

'It's so heartwarming seeing that our community is just coming together for this great cause, and wanting to help these dogs, they just need a home'. But they're also calling on people who took animals in during the hurricane to come forward about where they found the pets and what condition they were in.

Locals have already contributed more than $2,000 worth of staples for those who have lost their homes to the recent hurricane, organizers said. They're relocating 100 animals from Miami to a specially devised shelter in SC. "Island dogs are like that".