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Homeward Trails Announces Expanded Efforts in Puerto Rico

As you have all seen and generously supported, HT has been working hard to assist the dogs of Puerto Rico by covering medical care for them as well as transport off the island to adoptive homes here for over three years. This has been a rewarding experience as we have taken more than 290 dogs over this time, We have participated in both small and larger transports. Each fuzzy face that has arrived represents an amazing story of survival.

Most of our partnering has been with the The Guanica Animal Rescue Project (GARP), an amazing group that was founded by Lynn Descoteau who moved to Puerto Rico from the US and was quickly overwhelmed by the number of animals needing help. She had to do something and contacted HT more than 3 years ago to partner. Her efforts have been instrumental in saving the lives of so many animals. She is a hero on the ground!

However, as we all know, transferring animals is only a small part of the solution to a much larger problem. Transporting off the island alone will never solve the growing problem. While we continue to bring dogs to the US, the population of homeless dogs is growing, made worse by so many pet owners abandoning the island after Hurricane Maria and leaving their pets behind. And thus, we have decided that the time to further invest in this area and these animals has come.

Starting on April 1st, Homeward Trails will be opening a branch in Guanica, Puerto Rico, the community in which we have been working for the last three years. What will this mean?

We will continue with working the GARP founder under the umbrella now of HT. We will also be working in partnership with with several veterinarians in the area including our long-time partner, LaSuissa Vet Cinic. We are also very excited to have the support of the Guanica Mayor, who has officially invited Homeward Trails to Guanica to partner with his office and our vet partners to provide TNR (trap, neuter, return) programs for cats, ongoing transport for adoptable dogs, low-cost vaccines and spay/neuter for owned animals and community outreach programs about humane care of animals.

We will have a full-time staff person on the ground in Guanica overseeing the animals we rescue and preparing them for shipment here. We will be increasing the number of transports we do in order to continue moving dogs off the island. We are SO grateful to the Animal Welfare Institute who has donated funding to purchase a transport van which will make larger transports possible!

We will be implementing a targeted TNR program for cats. No one is talking about the cats and it’s heartbreaking to see all the homeless kitties who continue to multiply. We are thrilled to announce that we have received a donation of 20 traps which will be used to trap cats for TNR and dogs who are n need of prompt medical treatment.

We will be working in conjunction with our partners to host community events where we will offer low-cost vaccines, education on TNR and humane animal care, and volunteer recruitment! We will be providing community outreach to residents including information on vaccines, spay/neuter, humane care of community animals and ways to get involved and assist our efforts.

We also hope to begin offering hands-on volunteer opportunities for HT volunteers to travel to Puerto Rico to participate in these activities! There is SO much work to be done and we can’t do it without you.

So much to do and we are SO excited to get started on this next phase. We are kicking off this program with a two-day fundraising event on February 26th and on 27th to celebrate WORLD SPAY DAY! For every $50 donated a cat will be spayed/neutered. Please consider a donation of any size to help us save kitties.

***We will post an announcement with the link to donate on Feb. 25th. Every dollar will make a difference and save lives.

Join us on this new and exciting mission to alleviate suffering and bring long-term solutions to the animals of Puerto Rico who desperately need us. LET’S DO THIS HOMEWARD TRAILS!!

 

 

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