Dozens of Adoptable Pets Arrive in Massachusetts After Surviving COVID-19 and 2 Hurricanes

Over three dozen animals have arrived in Massachusetts from St. Thomas looking for a safe haven after surviving both the coronavirus pandemic and two hurricanes.

The 38 animals, a mix of cats and dogs, have struggled to get adopted from The Humane Society of St. Thomas ever since Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma each struck St. Thomas in 2017. And now, the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled tourism to the island, squashing their hopes of being adopted even further.

However, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) has stepped in to help increase the chance these animals find their forever homes.

In a statement, the MSPCA said it transported all 38 animals to the New England state and is issuing a call for residents to adopt the cats and dogs.

On Aug. 29, the organization received the first batch of pets, ten cats and three dogs, from the island. The animals completed their mandatory 48-hour quarantine and have since been adopted into new homes, the MSPCA said.

"Nine of the cats we are taking have been in the [St. Thomas] shelter for over a year — including a 12-year-old who arrived in 2014 — so we’re really grateful to be in a position to help these pets find excellent homes in Massachusetts," said Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at MSPCA-Angell.

The second batch of pets, consisting of 23 cats and kittens and one dog with a puppy, flew from St. Thomas to Florida on Sept. 18 before being transported via van to Massachusetts.

The animals are currently in quarantine at the MSPCA’s Cape Cod facility, and officials said they hope to have them ready for their new homes on or just after Sept. 23.

"We would consider these cats and dogs to be highly adoptable, and would make wonderful pets for most homes," said Keiley. "Moreover, the animals will help us meet the demand for cats and dogs that has only intensified since the start of the pandemic."

MSPCA-Angell previously took in 34 cats living in a shelter on St. John after Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck in 2017 and placed them into new homes in New England.

Anyone interested in adopting one of the St. Thomas pets can contact the MSPCA adoption center directly at [email protected]

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