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The Humane Society of Puerto Rico: Disaster Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We deviated a bit from the original plan for using the money. That was due to the fact that we were anticipating a high need for surgical services (for physical injuries, such as animals hit by cars, etc.), but instead were inundated with pets with "routine medical needs" due to very high rates of abandonment. We spent $16K to treat malnourishment, skin conditions, and rampant infections sustained by animals left abandoned in homes, etc., during the exodus of people leaving the island. We purchased a critical component for our generator so we could have power during almost 90 days without electricity. We purchased a refrigerator to keep our vaccines at the appropriate temperature. We were unable to find the surgical component we needed, but figured out a way to repair ours instead. We are in the process of purchasing a van, but the best price we could find was actually $20K. This is the result of the lack of supplies on the island and corresponding run-up on prices. The van is critical to our responding to emergencies.

The hurricane was probably the most deadly natural disaster we have ever faced. Due to the severe damage to our shelter and the widespread destruction of critical infrastructure, we were essentially unable to conduct even our most basic operations. On top of that, we faced a huge increase in the number of animals needing our help, due to the general devastation and the surge in abandonment as people were forced to leave the island and could not take their pets. Thanks to this grant funding, we were able to maintain operations in the face of this disaster while also meeting the huge increase in need for food, vaccines, and medical treatment for animals affected by the storm.

How many pets did this grant help?

404 dogs and cats were helped with this grant.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

While there were many special stories of animals helped by this grant, Pete stands out. This sweet 14-year-old mixed-breed dog was found by the side of the road the day after Maria hit. He was malnourished, covered with ticks and fleas, emotionally traumatized, and clearly disoriented. We think that Pete may have run off during the storm and been so terrified that he couldn’t find his way home. Because the island was without power, Internet, and basic communications for weeks after Maria, we were not able to post Pete’s story and try to find his owners. And no one has ever come to look for him. But we know that Pete is going to have a happy outcome to his long life. Despite what he has been through, he is incredibly sweet and gentle with people, and greets everyone with a lovely kiss and thump of his tail. He has gained weight and his fur has grown in. We are offering Pete for adoption at our facility in Guaynabo, P.R., but given the island’s still-precarious situation, we are not sure if an owner will come forward. But that’s okay. We work closely with a transport program and may send Pete off to a new life in Maine or Massachusetts. We know he will be much loved, wherever he goes. Meet Pete:

Further Reading