PORT CHARLOTTE— The Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County will receive 23 animals that survived Hurricane Dorian in Nassau, Bahamas.
The shelter is anticipating they will receive 11 dogs and 12 cats.
Executive Director Karen Slomba said they may actually receive less, because of the high number of shelters in Florida that offered assistance.
Rescue efforts are being arranged through the Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations (FAAWO), and animals will be distributed across the state.
Initially, Slomba thought the animals would arrive at the airport in Fort Lauderdale today or tomorrow, however, the rescue was delayed due to health paperwork on the animals. FAAWO is waiting to receive medical paperwork on the animals that will inform the shelters about vaccines and any diseases or illnesses the animals may have.
At last count, Slomba said that 75 or 100 animals would be on the transport flight expected to land in Florida Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. If the health paperwork is not obtained, this could potentially be pushed back further.
“There’s always the chance that things might fall apart,” Slomba said.
Slomba is also coordinating with Cat Depot in Sarasota, which will be taking in 20 cats, and Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue in Bradenton, that will be taking 11 dogs.
The Suncoast Humane Society in Englewood said they still don’t have information about whether they will be receiving any animals from the Bahamas.
In preparation to receive the animals, the Animal Welfare League is working to clear out its isolation area at the shelter.
Slomba explained the animals will be quarantined for two weeks, before they can be made available to the public. Animals must be in isolation, because there are diseases on the island like distemper and Parvo, Slomba said. The shelter doesn’t want to risk any possible diseases spreading to other animals.
To further protect AWL’s furry residents, staff will be required to wear personal protective equipment when handling the animals from the Bahamas.
To assist the shelter in caring for the incoming animals who may likely have medical needs, monetary donations can be made on the shelters website at awlshelter.org.