METHUEN — Humans are not the only creatures that have fled Puerto Rico after the island was devastated by two hurricanes.
Eight dogs of various ages were rescued from an animal shelter there and are now ready to be adopted. Their temporary home is the MSPCA Nevins Farm, which only a few days ago took in 34 cats from St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Fourteen of the felines have already been placed in new homes, according to the MSPCA.
Meaghan O'Leary, director of the adoption center at the Nevins Farm, said she expects the dogs will be ready for new owners by this coming weekend. They must be quarantined until a veterinarian determines that they are healthy, she explained.
All of the dogs will be spayed or neutered before they make their way to new homes, she said.
Homeless dogs in Puerto Rico are called satos. While they are quarantined, they cannot be touched by people who do not work at the farm.
Mila is the oldest in the group. She's 10 years old but is still quite spry. She at least tolerated being led around on a leash – even though she has lived on the streets for most if not all of her life.
O'Leary held two 8-week-old puppies, who licked her affectionately.
They didn't give any indication that they understood what was being said to them in English or Spanish – but O'Leary said they probably got the gist of it.
"I think these dogs are bilingual," she said.
The newest Merrimack Valley residents also include two 4-month-old dogs, closing in on canine adolescence.
The eight dogs arrived at the St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Shelter in Madison, New Jersey, Monday night and brought to the Nevins Farm on Tuesday.
“We’re doing what we have always done: Ensuring we are ready and able to take in animals from areas of the world badly impacted by recent extreme weather. We’ll do our best to ensure all of these dogs are placed in wonderful homes. Now more than ever the international animal welfare organization needs to come together to ensure we can protect the most vulnerable animals among us, and I’m so proud that we’re doing that,” said Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at the MSPCA-Angell.
O'Leary pointed out that the Nevins Farm provides emergency shelter for local pets. By adopting a sato, one will help the farm focus on its main mission, he said.
Those who are interested in adopting a dog from Puerto Rico are encouraged to visit the Nevin Farms website: www.mspca.org.
Source : http://www.eagletribune.com/news/merrimack_valley/eight-dogs-from-storm-torn-puerto-rico-seek-new-homes/article_f767c7c0-cf25-50c9-be37-934136388b0d.html