PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – The Suncoast Animal League is collecting donations for all residents of the Bahamas, not just animals.
The shelter posted an emergency supply list to Facebook Tuesday night after hearing from The Humane Society of Grand Bahama.
“Their shelter was just pretty much demolished and there were somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple 100 cats and dogs there,” said Suncoast Animal League Executive Director and co-founder Rick Chaboudy.
Chaboudy said the shelter found out late Tuesday night that it appears at least 40 cats and 75 dogs survived at The Humane Society of Grand Bahama.
“Six employees stayed with the animals, at one point we were told, the last information we got from there, the employees were up to their neck in water and they were in peril and that’s the last we heard until late yesterday morning we found out that they were rescued,” Chaboudy said.
Rescue efforts for those animals and others in different shelters are underway, as well as the drive to get supplies to the people on the islands.
Suncoast Animal League is working with another group on the east coast, making communication with those in the Bahamas even more difficult, so they’re taking things hour by hour.
“They’re attempting to get a plane as early as Friday or Saturday to go over there and start sending animals back,” said Chaboudy. “The whole goal, there are approximately six shelters over there. And to assist all six shelters and start bringing animals back. The flight’s going to take off out of Fort Pierce.”
Chaboudy told 8 On Your Side the shelter is trying to figure out how many flights will be needed.
“The flights cost about $2,000 and I know one flight is booked and we went ahead and paid for a second flight to go over there, so we’re trying to figure out… how many flights do they need and then we’ll start asking for assistance with that,” he explained.
Suncoast Animal League isn’t just looking at animal supplies, but aid for humans as well.
Items on the emergency supply list posted to Facebook include dry dog and cat food, diapers, bottled water, hygiene products, sunscreen, batteries and more.
Those who wish to donate can drop off items at the Suncoast Animal League Thrift Shop, located at 1454 Alt. 19 North in Palm Harbor.
The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The shelter’s Facebook post notes they have only two days to collect supplies, but that could change, so stay tuned to the Suncoast Animal League Facebook page for further updates.