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120 animals rescued since hurricanes

- thanks to initiative especially by PAW BVI & Humane Society International many animals were saved following hurricanes Irma & Maria
Some of the 120 animals being transported to the mainland to be reunited with their owners or to a shelter. Photo: Facebook
Chris Schindler and Adam Parascandola, vets from Humane Society International from Puerto Rico arrived a week after Hurricane Irma to assist with vaccinating the animals. Photo: Facebook
Chris Schindler and Adam Parascandola, vets from Humane Society International from Puerto Rico arrived a week after Hurricane Irma to assist with vaccinating the animals. Photo: Facebook
PAWBVI preparing animals to be sent off on one of the four evacuation flights. Photo: Facebook
PAWBVI preparing animals to be sent off on one of the four evacuation flights. Photo: Facebook
More cats and dogs being evacuated following the passage of Hurricane Irma that destroyed the shelter. Photo: Facebook
More cats and dogs being evacuated following the passage of Hurricane Irma that destroyed the shelter. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - It was September 5, 2017, the day before Hurricane Irma struck the Virgin Islands with brute force, when Natasha H. Ruscheinski founder and chairperson of PAW BVI, sent out a desperate Facebook post asking for volunteers to foster animals for the Hurricane.

"We asked the shelter what plans they had and they really didn't have any for the animals that they couldn't fit inside," expressed Ms Ruscheinski in an exclusive interview with our news reporter.

She continued, "I loaded my car with carriers and food and met everyone at the shelter," while noting that she received a donation from RiteWay weeks before the hurricane.

A total of 24 animals were out of the shelter the day before Hurricane Irma and went to different foster homes, according to the PAW BVI founder.

"We managed to get quite a few out. There were about 25 dogs left in the shelter for Irma, some rabbits and cats," Ms Ruscheinski said.

Following that, all they could do was wait until the Hurricane passed, hoping that the animals that were left at the shelter would be safe.

The founder of PAW BVI explained that she could not do anything for the animals the day after Hurricane Irma because the roads were blocked.

"It was day two after Irma that I went down to the shelter," she said. "When we got there, we saw a few dead animals unfortunately, but we also saw a lot of alive animals which were amazing."

This news site had also reported on October 24, 2017 about the destruction done to the shelter by Hurricane Irma.

Assistance from overseas

Natasha H. Ruscheinski told our news reporter that initially, two vets from Humane Society International from Puerto Rico came and assisted with vaccinating the animals, following that more volunteers came to assist in the transportation of the animals.

"A group of volunteers came in from Humane Society International and we basically got all the animals from the shelter into Canine, Cats and Critters which is a vet and we did that in time for Maria," she told our newsroom.

A total of 120 animals were evacuated on four different flights to different parts of the United States.

On September 21, 2017, nine dogs from the shelter along with three dogs and one cat were reunited with their owners.

On September 25, 2017, 30 dogs and cats consisting of strays and pets that were reunited with families who evacuated the territory.

On October 3, 2017, a total of 41 dogs and cats were evacuated by Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue team.

Finally on October 26, 2017, 36 dogs and cats that were homeless were sent on a Wings of Rescue plane.

According to Ms Ruscheinski, "A combination of strays and shelter animals were sent out on the flights. There were currently two dogs left in the shelter and more will keep coming," while noting that the four flights were for emergency evacuations only.

Thanks to Ms Ruscheinski and other kind hearted persons, many of our animal friends have some fairy tale endings after enduring the recent destructive hurricanes but now actually having owners who will love and care for them.

According to the founder, "The main aim of PAW BVI is to decrease the number of unwanted dogs and cats on island, through a spay and neuter programme. If there is anyone who cannot afford the cost of having their dogs or cats sterilised, please contact PAW BVI on Facebook or send an email to"

See link to related story:

12 Responses to “120 animals rescued since hurricanes”

  • Animal Lover (31/10/2017, 13:00) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank you so much. I have 2 cats and a dog that were strays. I am planning to keep them. They are going to have a good and safe home.
  • Pet Adoption (31/10/2017, 13:09) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am on the mainland U.S. mid Atlantic area but have ties in the BVI. Where do I call if I want to adopt a dog/puppy from the BVI?
    • me to (31/10/2017, 16:40) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      I live in Maryland and I would also like some information on where I can adopt some of the cats and dogs. I have a spacious back yard and a basement.
      • PAWBVI (31/10/2017, 20:02) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        Hi, the animals on the first two flights are in Maryland - you can contact Greenbriar to meet them - best to message on their facebook page ( The third flight went to Pittsburgh - you can contact the Humane League there ( The last flight went to the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale (

        Or the next time you come to visit, contact PAW BVI ( and we can arrange an animal to travel back with you!!
        • Pet Adoption (01/11/2017, 23:37) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
          Thank you PAWBVI! Like "me to" I am just over the border line south from Maryland so I will reach out to Greenbriar pets. I will also share with other family members in Maryland, DC and Virginia.
      • Bvi cats (31/10/2017, 22:18) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Our 2 cats, brother and sister, were on the October 3rd flight and are still looking for their new forever home ... really want thee
      • Bvi cats (31/10/2017, 22:23) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Our 2 cats, Frank and Scout (brother and sister) are at the humane league of Lancaster Pennsylvania... we desperately want them to get adopted together and find their new forever home.... we miss them so but it was no longer safe for them in the Bvi... please share... visit this site ... frank and scout!!!
  • the voice of the voice less (31/10/2017, 15:07) Like (1) Dislike (9) Reply
    vino getting soft on we
    • :-) (31/10/2017, 16:27) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      I wanted to dislike your comment, but I had to smile at it instead, because I remembered when I was like you. Thinking that dogs in particular belong outside eating leftover special provisions. That was until my sister and niece whom i love dearly, wouldn't visit unless their schnauzer came along. He was so loving and almost human like in his qualities. My only rule then became just keep him out of my kitchen and bed.

      The kitchen worked, the bed not so well as on every visit for some reason he knew when it was their last night (maybe from the packing of suit cases) with me and on that night only he would sleep at the foot of my bed no matter how many times I got up and moved him to his bed he would make his was back. They grow on is unconditional love! And I am black person so don't even try to stereotype. Lol!
    • Reply (01/11/2017, 06:17) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Soft you say? I still believe vino is number 1
    • Really (01/11/2017, 20:05) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

      Your definitely a j@ck@$$. Are you jealous you weren't on any of the flights?

  • Animal Lover (31/10/2017, 20:04) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    If you are reading this and you have an animal who has not been spayed/neutered due to financial constraints, please contact PAW BVI on their facebook page or email Prevent unwanted litters of puppies and kitties and help your pet's health as well as prevent them roaming!

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