Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas with all its might, causing widespread devastation and destruction. Schools and hospitals have collapsed, houses are gone, roads are underwater, and cars and boats are hanging from trees. In that rubble are pets separated from their families and children who have lost their relatives and their homes. According to UNICEF, across the Bahamas, over 18,000 children were affected by the hurricane. Not helping the situation, the U.S. government is continuing its brutal policy of separating children from adults, if they arrive in the U.S. without a blood relative even if they are fleeing from a hurricane.
Animals had their lives upturned too, including tragic news from a Bahamanian shelter’s Facebook page that kennels were submerged in five feet of water. While 156 dogs and cats survived, others were not so lucky. To help save island cats and the Bahamas’ local breed of dogs, known as potcakes, several national and international organizations have teamed up to coordinate animal relief efforts, according to a post by the Bahamas Humane Society.
Here’s how to help animals:
- The Humane Society of the Grand Bahamas has a GoFundMe page set up for donations. Contributions will go toward supplies and airlifting animals outside of the Bahamas.
- If you’re interested in adopting a pet from the shelter, according to its Facebook post, all evacuated animals are being sent to Halo No-Kill Shelter in Florida, which is also running a lost-and-found page on Facebook for any pet owners to be reunited with their animals. Donate here.
- The Best Friends Animal Society is accepting donations as part of its Disaster Relief Fund and keeping its Facebook page up-to-date with information about animals rescued from Dorian. The society also has a lost-and-found page for pets. And if you want to adopt a pet evacuated from Dorian, you can check this website.
- Florida animal rescue group Big Dog Ranch Rescue brought more than 50 dogs over after commissioning a rescue yacht. They are caring for the pups, getting them medical checkups, and looking for homes for the dogs. The donation page is on the rescue group’s website
- The Brandywine Valley SPCA is accepting financial donations to support the feeding, boarding, and care of the animals that were evacuated from the islands. Alternatively, animal lovers can help the shelter stock up on supplies it needs through the organization’s Amazon Wish List.
- USA Today has a list of shelters taking in dogs, if you’re looking to adopt.
If you want to help human children, here are a few options:
- UNICEF is on the ground in the Bahamas after bringing over its first shipment of supplies, including water purification tablets and sanitation supplies for about 9,500 people. UNICEF is working around the clock with the government and U.N. partner agencies to ensure that families have the lifesaving supplies they need and kids can slowly find a sense of normalcy. Donate here.
- CORE has deployed a disaster response team to the Bahamas to provide water sanitation, emergency shelter, and debris removal expertise. Additionally, along with partners at Jose Andres’s World Central Kitchen and international NGO Direct Relief, CORE is supporting affected communities through the delivery of emergency food and medical supplies. Donate here.
- Save the Children is reportedly working with local organizations to assist in reopening childcare and education programs in areas impacted by Hurricane Dorian. In addition to on-the-ground support, Save the Children also provides resources ahead of storms making landfall. Donate here.