December 19, 2017 -- Nearly three months after Hurricane Maria devastated St. Croix and nearby islands, the need is still great.

The SPCA of Wake County took in 18 dogs (two adults and 16 puppies) today from the island of St. Croix. This is the third round of animals the shelter has helped in direct response to this year's hurricane damage.

The SPCA took in 39 dogs from Puerto Rico in partnership with the HSUS in early October. The SPCA also took in six bunnies from the Florida Keys. The ASPCA (not affiliated with the SPCA of Wake County) provided transport for the 18 animals now in our care.

The main shelter on the island, St. Croix Animal Welfare Center, was destroyed during Hurricane Maria. We were able to contact the shelter veterinarian (who coincidentally is a DVM alum from the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine) who shared that they moved all of their animals to safety prior to the storm. They have been busy helping people on the island acquire health certificates so residents can leave with their pets and are also very busy helping the stray animals left behind. "We are exceptionally grateful that our wonderful crucian critters were accepted to stateside shelters and hopeful that we can build our network of sister shelters through this tragedy," Dr. Michelle Mehalick told the SPCA.

Staff is assessing each animal’s needs. The dogs are not yet at the SPCA Pet Adoption Center. Some should be available for adoption as early as Thursday, but anyone interested in adopting one of the dogs can stop by the Pet Adoption Center even before that to get their information on file.

We are currently assessing each pet to determine if there are any immediate medical needs. Each dog will be spayed or neutered prior to being available for adoption.

Your support allows us to answer the call during times of need and large-scale rescue efforts. Accepting these animals will not disrupt the normal intake of animals we bring in from other local shelters. You can make a tax-deductible donation today to help us provide the care, food, shelter and spay/neuter surgeries these 18 pets need. Your support today also gives us the chance to say "yes" when the next call for help comes in!

The SPCA of Wake County is an independent animal shelter and relies almost entirely on donations for the work it performs.

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