We wanted to help. Hurricane Maria had left Puerto Rico without power, clean water, and severe travel/weight restrictions regarding owned pets limited the number of dogs and cats that could leave the island with their families. 1 Love 4 Animals reached out to two highly respected organizations known for assisting dogs on the island: The Sato Project and All Sato Rescue. Both of these rescue groups partner with the unflappable Wings of Rescue and have saved the lives of countless pets left devastated by the recent hurricanes. Unfortunately, raising the funds to cover the cost of charting the planes to help all the animals that needed to be helped proved to be difficult. 1 Love reached out to our friends and we were able to raise $65K to help with two transports saving over 300 pets.

The Sato Project organized the first transport: 112 crates carrying 127 dogs destined for Florida and North Jersey. 1 Love 4 Animals raised $30K for this airlift and we were there in Puerto Rico on the 18th of December working alongside Chrissy Beckles and her dedicated volunteers loading dogs onto the plane. Over fifty pets were reunited with their families in Florida, New Jersey, and New York. The remaining dogs were met by rescue groups and will find new homes in time for the New Year. Nine little dogs came to 1 Love 4 Animals and are now up for adoption. 

Hurricane Maria made landfall at a place called "Dead Dog Beach" - where dogs are often abandoned and left to die. Trees, trunks bleached and stripped of their bark, stood like dinosaur bones around damaged homes and businesses. Locals shared stories of wading through 3' of raw sewage and waiting hours for gas to operate their cars so they could charge their cell phones. Hurricane Maria spent 16 hours pummeling the island with 165 mile an hour winds, and when she finished the bodies of dead horses and livestock littered the island. Many of the locals still did not have electricity when we were there, three months after the storm first hit. 

  1 Love 4 Animals was proud to partner with the The Sato Project and we're grateful to our friends and supporters for donating the money we needed to assist these incredible groups. Wings of Rescue was just featured on the Animal Planet's "5 Groups to Watch." A well-deserved inclusion for Ric Browde and his colleagues who do so much and save so many.

And as far as Chrissy and her volunteers at The Sato Project, this story speaks to their unfailing commitment to the animals of Puerto Rico. One of our previous adopters read on Facebook that we were helping dogs in Puerto Rico and reached out about a little dog that was living on the streets outside a Best Western in Levittown, Puerto Rico. He told me he was there as a contractor and was feeding the dog but had to come home and had no way of getting the dog to Pennsylvania. As exhausted as the Sato volunteers were after tagging the dogs, comforting the families, and lifting over 100 crates onto the plane's conveyor belt, they jumped in their cars and headed to Levittown and rescued the dog at our request. "Taco" is now at a vet hospital in Puerto Rico and will be reunited with our previous adopter in Doylestown, PA after a three week quarantine period. 

Ten days later, 1 Love 4 Animals drove to Worcester, Massachusetts to meet the second transport of abandoned or surrendered pets from Puerto Rico. This time our volunteers worked with All Sato Rescue and the canine passengers were met by numerous no-kill foster-based rescues throughout New England. Twig Mowatt and All Sato volunteers organized the charter (again with Wings of Rescue) and 1 Love's donors contributed $35K to fuel the plane. Everyone doing what they can to help animals that continue to suffer in the aftermath of these unprecedented storms. We are now collecting donations for future projects to help animals both far and right here in the Delaware Valley.

Photos by Cathy Capone

Photo by Eric Forberger

 Photo by Eric Forberger

Photo by Eric Forberger

 Photo by Eric Forberger

Photo by Eric Forberger

 Photo by Eric Forberger

Photo by Eric Forberger

Photo by Eric Forberger

Click on a thumbnail image above to see a gallery of photos from the Puerto Rico airlift. Photos by Eric Forberger

1 Love 4 Animals' volunteers were in Antigua and Barbuda this week to deliver supplies, meet with the local shelter director and veterinarians to discuss what we can do to help the animals on these islands. Barbuda received the brunt of Hurricane Irma and is virtually uninhabitable - all that remain are the animals. The local Humane Society is trying to reunite families forced to leave Barbuda with the pets they were forced to leave behind but circumstances have made that difficult. There is one ferry and several smaller boats making the daily 2 hour trip from Antigua to Barbuda and seats on these vessels are hard to come by; reserved for construction workers and families desperate to salvage what is left of their homes and businesses. A pilot told our volunteers it was difficult to land on the island because of the number of dogs on the runway. Dogs wait by the docks for boats arriving with food. Unaltered male and female dogs run loose on the island. 1 Love 4 Animals volunteer Cathy Capone brought a small pregnant dog back with her on Thursday. 

Through the contacts we made this week we will do whatever we need to do to help the animals on both Antigua and Barbuda. Whether it's transporting dogs not reclaimed by their families off the islands, or setting up a long term spay/neuter initiative with local vets. What they need ASAP are worming tablets and flea/tick repellent. After the hurricane hit, many of the dogs and cats on Barbuda were forced to eat the dead animals left in the wake of Irma which caused these animals to have substantial parasite infestations. Cathy also described dogs with heads and faces covered with green ticks and eyes infected by contaminated flood waters. 

1 Love 4 Animals understands help is needed not only in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster but in the hard months that follow when families must decide if it is possible to keep their pets without homes or jobs. 1 Love 4 Animals will be there to help these animals. If you would like to help cover the cost of badly needed supplies, please make a donation today. 1 Love 4 Animals has no salaried employees at this time so all money collected will directly impact the lives of animals on these islands. We are also creating a program called "Pair-adise" whereby a donation of $200 will spay/neuter a pair of animals - one dog or cat on Barbuda and Antigua and one dog or cat right here in the Delaware Valley. 

Photos by Cathy Capone

Click on a thumbnail image above to see a gallery of photos from Barbuda.

1 Love 4 Animals continues to help animals left devastated by the recent hurricanes. Our rescue agreed to take dozens of dogs and cats from St. Thomas and St. Croix (part of a massive airlift involving 300 dogs and cats). At first, we reached out and offered to take dogs and cats from St. Thomas after Irma struck. Our contact helping us to facilitate the transport is based on the Island of St. Croix and asked if we would take 20 dogs from their shelter as well. Little did any of us know their own shelter would be destroyed hours after the dogs and cats left by plane. Hurricane Maria swept the island leaving devastation and massive power outages. 

Eight of the dogs we rescued from St. Croix were sent to our friends at BARC in Brooklyn. 1 Love needs to find homes for the remaining dogs and cats. If you would like to adopt a dog or cat left homeless by Hurricanes Irma and Maria please visit our ADOPT page. If you would like to help 1 Love 4 Animals cover the cost of their medical care, or transport more animals to safety, please make a contribution by visiting  our DONATE page. We are also collecting badly needed supplies for local rescues on these islands. The real need for our help will arrive in the coming months when families realize they cannot keep their pets and the hurricanes are no longer headline news. 1 Love 4 Animals will provide support until the local shelters are up and running again. We know our friends here in the States will embrace these animals, both literally and financially by making a contribution to support our efforts. The need is great but together we'll rise to the challenge. 

The dogs in these photos were once in the path of Hurricane Maria. After being part of a massive airlift to the States, they are seen here enjoying a day in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Photos by Kirsten Kline.

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 Photos by Kirsten Kline and Tracy Kline

Photos by Kirsten Kline and Tracy Kline

The dogs and cats rescued by 1 Love 4 Animals were not owned pets but animals already in the shelters when the hurricanes arrived. We believe it's important pets be reunited with their families in the aftermath of natural disasters. By emptying the shelters of their dogs and cats, organizations like 1 Love are making space for owned pets until their families can be found.

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Click on a thumbnail image above to see a photo gallery of dogs rescued from St. Croix and St. Thomas.