BRADENTON, Fla. - Workers with Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue in Bradenton got on the road early Monday, headed for the airport in Fort Lauderdale.
After Hurricane Dorian tore through several islands in the Bahamas, animal rescue groups have been scrambling to save the animals that managed to survive.
When the Bahamas Humane Society in Nassau made a plea for help, Nate's Honor answered the call.
They traveled seven hours Monday to pick up six dogs from the airport.
“They left the Bahamas at 5 a.m., and we left here at 6 a.m. They had to go through customs,” said Dari Oglesby, the executive director of Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue. “They are getting these animals out so that they could make space so they can bring the homeless animals and the animals that are abandoned or in the streets or the ones that people can no longer care for into their shelter.”
She said it took about a week to organize the transfer. Roughly 85 dogs and 73 cats need a place to stay, so rescue groups across the state are working to find space.
“We are going to spoil them rotten, but we will go slow with them, on their terms,” said Oglesby. “You can see by some of the animals that you saw that some are shier than others. Some are coming right up.”
Most of the animals brought to Bradenton are shelter dogs, but an owner surrendered one of the dogs before the storm hit.
“Two years ago, all of our animals went to Ohio with the anticipation of a hurricane coming, and fortunately it didn’t hit us. But it was gut-wrenching to watch our babies leave,” said Oglesby. “But we knew they were going to be in good hands, and I hope they feel the same way.”
With a veterinarian visit checked off, the focus now is building trust and keeping the dogs busy until it’s time for them to go to their forever homes.
“We know that as soon as we put them up for adoption people will come and adopt them, and I can’t wait to share those pictures with the people in the Bahamas,” said Oglesby.
The dogs will be quarantined for two weeks before they can be adopted. Oglesby said the Bahamas Humane Society plans to move 25 more dogs to Florida Tuesday.