For years, dogs at 11 Puerto Rico animal shelters have been sleeping on hard, concrete floors. Next week—that and much more is about to change as the Humane Society of the United States, along with Kuranda and Bubba’s Beds for Shelter Friends, give the gift of comfort to homeless pets.
Beginning August 20, volunteers will assemble 1,000 Kuranda beds at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, which graciously donated its space. Once assembled, delivery teams will be on hand to distribute the beds, which are well suited for a shelter environment since they are easy to clean and aren’t easily damaged by chewing, to island shelters.
“It never ceases to amaze me what organizations are capable of when they align together and work towards a greater good,” said Yolanda Alvarez, Puerto Rico Commonwealth director for the HSUS. “We’ll get a better night’s sleep knowing these shelter pets are resting comfortably.”
On the morning of August 23, more than 200 dogs and cats will board two flights en route to stateside animal shelters. Ground teams in Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will meet the planes and transfer the animals to ground transfer partners. Learn more about this exciting effort here.
The week concludes with a workshop for animal welfare staff and volunteers on August 24. With over 200 attendees expected, this workshop will provide valuable training and resources for professionals from animal shelters and rescue groups as well as animal control officers and advocates. Participants will learn about social media, volunteer management, data collection and standards of animal care.
“Thanks to the HSUS, we’ve found a path to make things better inside the shelter environment and for everybody involved in rescuing and protecting animals. Establishing standards, knowing the correct protocol and wording to follow in social media will give us extraordinary resources to communicate properly and efficiently to accomplish our goals to help animals in Puerto Rico,” said Maritza Rodríguez, executive director at the Humane Society of Puerto Rico.
The workshop will take place at the University of Turabo in Caguas, which has generously donated the use of their auditorium. The workshop is free for the professionals attending and who have registered with breakfast and lunch provided.
In addition to the work of these organizations and the Humane Puerto Rico program, the HSUS’ international arm, Humane Society International, operates spay/neuter clinics throughout the island.
The HSUS thanks its partners for the following contributions:
- Kuranda USA for covering shipping costs for the 1,000 beds.
- Bubba’s Beds for Shelter Friends for leading the assembly of the 1,000 beds.
- Wings of Rescue for sourcing and flying a plane from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Fort Lauderdale and Raleigh-Durham.
- Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team for providing transport for animals moving to shelters outside of North Carolina.
- GreaterGood.org for contributing financial resources in the form of grants.
- The Grey Muzzle Organization for contributing financial resources in the form of grants to the Humane Society of Charlotte.
- Big Dog Ranch Rescue for taking in animals from the transport into its program.
- Grace Park Animal Hospital for providing sponsorship for plane and veterinary ground support for animals arriving in Raleigh-Durham.
- The Humane Society of Broward County for providing staff, veterinary and ground support to receive dogs from the plane arriving in Ft. Lauderdale and for taking in animals from the transport into its program.
- The Humane Society of Charlotte for providing staff, veterinary and ground support to receive dogs from the plane arriving in Raleigh-Durham and for taking animals from the transport into its program.
- The Sato Project for working tirelessly in Puerto Rico to identify and prepare more than 200 dogs for this journey.
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