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Animal rescue helps stranded animals reunite with owners in Bahamas after hurricane

Posted at 1:14 PM, Sep 18, 2019

In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, a lot of animals in the Bahamas are left without owners to care for them and without homes to shelter in.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) sent a crew to the Bahamas, trying to find and save those animals that survived the Category 5 hurricane.

Alex Johnson with IFAW spent days in the throes of Dorian’s aftermath.

“It was apocalyptic, catastrophic, whatever you want to call it,” he describes. “It was, it was just, it was just devastating.”

Johnson is part of a rescue team sent to Abaco to help stranded animals.

“We have set up in Nassau a dispatch, a dispatch center, where people it's almost like a crisis hotline where we have someone getting calls from desperate pet owners looking for pets that were left behind,” he says.

Johnson describes the visit as “eerie” as he walked through areas devastated by the storm.

“You would just walk by these areas and just kind of get a whiff of like some foul stench,” Johnson describes.

For the animals the group would find, they would classify them as being an urgent situation or not.

Johnson describes a dog he encountered that needed urgent medical attention. However, soon after finding him, the dog passed away.

“And that's just like the sad reality of how the situation is going,” he says.

Johnson says he and his crew are trying to offer refuge.

“People like me and my other teammates are there to kind of give these animals a fighting chance, because they're often forgotten and these type of situations,” Johnson says.

The IFAW team says their top priority is getting animals out of the hardest-hit areas and reuniting the ones they can with their owners. IFAW says it will be on the ground as long as they’re needed.