NEW CASLTE COUNTY, Del. (KYW Newsradio) — The Brandywine Valley SPCA unloaded some very precious — and heavily whiskered — cargo Tuesday at the New Castle Airport.
The shelter is taking in roughly 350 homeless dogs and cats from the Carolinas ahead of Hurricane Dorian. The first wave of 191 pets arrived just before noon on a Wings of Rescue plane, a nonprofit that flies at-risk animals out of disaster areas.
An army of shelter staff and volunteers then helped unload them, as they loudly howled and hummed after their first plane ride. The animals were at risk as Carolina shelters face potential flooding.
This rescue is Brandywine’s 20th collaboration with Wings of Rescue.
Brandywine Valley SPCA Director of Marketing Linda Torelli said the critters are from shelters specifically in the coastal Carolinas.
“All of these animals were available for adoption before the storm. I know folks worry about local animals being moved away from their families. These are homeless pets that are coming up here to find a home,” she said, “and to make space so those local pets that are in need can stay in their local area.”
Torelli said they’re all strong adoption candidates, and most of them will be available by Thursday.
“We’re going to have pets at all our adoption centers: West Chester, New Castle, and Georgetown, as well as some of the other shelters in the area,” she added.
Although the effort is aimed at getting the relocated animals into forever homes, Torelli said there’s an added benefit.
“One of the amazing things that comes out of these hurricane missions is that people become aware of how important it is to adopt,” she said. “Folks come in to adopt any animal because right now if you adopt a local animal, it’s also helping a hurricane animal to come up to safety.”
There are other ways to help besides adopting, too.
“Just cleaning out your old linen closet with towels to help with the intake of additional animals,” Torelli added. “We need wet and dry cat food. We need newspapers, which helps with cat litter. And you can also make a donation to support the work.”
While some of the dogs and cats seemed to enjoy their adventure across the East Coast, others clearly didn’t care for it.
“They don’t know it yet,” Torelli continued, “but pretty soon they’re going to be resting up in a forever home.”