Potter League takes in dogs from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) – Ten dogs traveled some 1,600 miles from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico to Middletown, to be cared for by the Potter League for Animals. They’ll now have some down time before going up for adoption.

The league’s executive director Brad Shear said Wednesday there were more than 350,000 stray dogs in Puerto Rico in all.

“These are dogs that were in shelters and rescues before the storms hit and some of these facilities have been destroyed,” Shear said. “These aren’t people’s pets that have been separated from them.”

The trip was lengthy with the dogs spending four hours in the air, as a plane chartered by the Humane Society of the United States took supplies down to the islands, bringing dogs back with them. Then, Tuesday night, the dogs were driven from New Jersey to Rhode Island.

It’s not the first time the Potter League has helped animals from areas torn apart by hurricanes. Last month the group also welcomed 40 cats and dogs from Texas when Hurricane Harvey destroyed shelters there.

By helping homeless animals of disaster-stricken areas, Shear said the human residents are being helped as well.

“If we can take the load off them of trying to make sure the animals that they’re responsible for survive, and they can just take care of themselves, then in a way we’re helping both,” he said.

State law says the dogs must be isolated for five days, then the league will spay or neuter them, vaccinate and microchip them before they’re made available for adoption.

The League urges anyone in the market for a dog to make sure and consider all the animals at the shelter looking for homes, not just those having come from dire straits.