Janet Begley, Special to TCPalm.com Published 9:00 a.m. ET Oct. 4, 2019
SEBASTIANFifteen dogs taken to theH.A.L.O. No-Kill Rescue organization when Hurricane Dorian swept through Freeport on Grand Bahama island have headed to new homes.
After several weeks of medical quarantine, the dogs were ready for adoption Sept. 29, said H.A.L.O Executive Director Jacque Petrone. Twelve others have been transferred to other rescue groups that already have familieslined up for the canines. H.A.L.O. stands for Helping Animals Live and Overcome.
More:HALO Animal Rescue helpinganimals fromthe Bahamas
They are doing very well, considering what they have been through, said Petrone. These animals survived a Category 5 hurricane, a flight across the ocean and a three-hour drive to reach their destination. But amazingly, they were in great spirits when they arrived and settled into the shelter nicely.
Of the 83 dogs rescued from the Humane Society of Grand Bahama, 21 of them tested positive for heart worm and will need medical care before they can be adopted, Petrone said.
Many of them suffered from severe skin irritation, salt water burns and ear and eye infections due to prolonged exposure to gasoline-infused salt water.
Dog handler Hailey Nottage scratches the face of Paul, one of 83 dogs rescued from the Bahamas, on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, at the H.A.L.O. animal shelter in Sebastian. "Paul had it pretty rough during and after the storm," Nottage said. "The injuries he sustained is believed to be from all the chemicals in the water. He seems to be doing better now." The dogs have finished their two weeks in quarantine and will now visit the veterinarian.(Photo: PATRICK DOVE/TCPALM)
The Grand Bahama animal shelter was hit with deadly storm surge nearly 20 feet high, with more than 5 feetof flood waterfilling the building. More than 110 cats and dogs died in the flood, as Hurricane Dorian devastated the island. The six staff members manning the building survived.
Previous story: 83 dogs rescued from Bahamas at HALO
When the 83 dogs and one cat made it to HALO, shelter, Petrone had to have adequate kennelspace for the animals.
We went two-story with our cages, said Petrone. We also had to set aside a room for medical quarantine. We had six volunteers working around-the-clock, with staff members putting in 50 to 60 hours a week. As tough as it was, we plowed through.
Right now, there are 98 dogsat the shelter on Jackson Street, and Petrone is hoping for some more adoptions to go through quickly.
Dog handler Hailey Nottage and head trainer Jeff Bolling move a pack of dogs rescued from the Bahamas from the yard back into the kennels on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, at the H.A.L.O animal shelter in Sebastian. After spending two weeks in quarantine, 83 dogs and one cat are now ready to be placed in foster homes or put up for adoption. "The next step is getting everyone to the vet, and that's a big step, not only monetarily, but logistically," said Bolling. "Also, it's important to get to know the personality of each dog. Out here in the yard you really get a good idea of who's outgoing, who's shy, how they interact with other dogs and who needs some work."(Photo: PATRICK DOVE/TCPALM)
The one rescued cat has taken up residency in Petrones office while he waits for a new home.
The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County isready to accept any dogsrescued from the Bahamas, but so far, have not beencalled upon to provide help. The shelterdoesn't have anydogs from the Bahamas, officials said.
More: Humane Society of Treasure Coast rescues Bahamas animals after Dorian
Since she started a GoFundMe page online, Petrone has raised more than $210,000 to assist animals impacted by Hurricane Dorian in comingto the United States.
She also is raising moneyto help rebuild the shelter for the Humane Society of Grand Bahama. Almost 3,000 contributions have been made through the GoFundMesite.
Volunteers and rescue groups came together to transport 83 dogs from the Bahamas to Florida. ANIMALKIND
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