ROANOKE, Va. – After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, shelters all across the country began taking in animals in need.
Angels of Assisi is packed. This weekend, the shelter picked up 80 cats and dogs from Puerto Rico. Now staff are hard at work to get the four-legged hurricane victims into new homes.
"They've been seen by vets there, but we also through and have our veterinarians go over and do exams, draw blood, do heartworm tests, do evaluations, things like that," said Jessica Worrell, volunteer coordinator for Angels of Assisi.
With Puerto Rico still in a state of devastation, shelters all along the East Coast including Angels of Assisi stepped in to help. All the dogs and cats came from Puerto Rico shelters. The goal is to free up space in those local shelters so families have a chance to reunite with their animals or give their animals a safe place to stay while they rebuild.
"It is always hard work, but it's definitely a need that's there. Also, it's a great way to help out in areas and do things for other people that you'll never meet and never see," said Worrell.
Hurricane rescues are nothing new for Angels of Assisi this year. The shelter took in animals from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
"It's a really nice thing that we have a great community that we can continue to do these rescues, one after the other. Donations pour in. Volunteers pour in. It's a really nice thing to see," said Worrell.
The shelter says most of the animals from Puerto Rico should be available for adoption by this weekend. Angels of Assisi staff members say they will be taking some of the Puerto Rico animals to New Freedom Farm's Open House this weekend. For more information on that event, click here.