Indiana shelters prepare to take in displaced Puerto Rico pets

Shelter prepares for Puerto Rico pets. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Nearly 100 animals from Puerto Rico are headed to Indiana Monday night, as Puerto Rico struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria.

Indiana shelters are taking the animals so Puerto Rican shelters can make space for pets lost during the storm.

Shelter workers from across the state will pick the animals up at the Indianapolis Regional Airport. About 20 will stay with the Humane Society of Indianapolis, where CEO Steven Stolen said the shelter has already taken in animals displaced by hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

“We’ve been part of a rescue summer,” Stolen said. “There’s a long tradition in Indianapolis of, when important things need to happen, the community comes together.”

Indy Humane Society workers are also coordinating which other Indiana shelters will take in animals from Puerto Rico.

“Folks all over the world and in Puerto Rico right now have all sorts of challenges, and on top of those challenges, they have an emotional challenge: Where is my dog? How do I find him?” Stolen continued.

Stolen said shelters in Puerto Rico are over capacity with pets lost in the storm.

The animals flying in Monday were already at shelters before the storm.

They’ll undergo medical and behavioral evaluations before going up for adoption.

“We find a family or an individual or a household that can take care of them and have that happy ending,” Stolen said.

Stolen said his team is used to working in a full shelter, and they can handle the new animals. Most of them are small dogs.

Click here to contact the Human Society of Indianapolis.