Animals rescued from Puerto Rico seek homes in our region

READING, Pa. - In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, pets from Puerto Rico have arrived in Pennsylvania.

"Last night around 8:30 p.m., we got a shipment of animals from Puerto Rico," explained Damon March, the chief operating officer of Humane Pennsylvania.  

It's not the best time, as the Humane Society of Berks County in Reading is already crowded.

"This is the busiest time of year for us, so we already have a lot of animals in cages," March explained.

So far, nine dogs and four cats from Puerto Rico are looking for homes in our region.

"These animals came out so that the shelters in Puerto Rico would have the greatest capacity to care for the animals that would have the most urgent need right there," said March.

The shelter was originally hoping to match the animals with Spanish-speaking owners, but it's open to all owners who can give the pets the special care they'll need due to what they've experienced.

"Anxiety in itself is a very big deal, but they're having to transition into a new home. It's just an extra level," explained Mary Keller, Humane Pennsylvania's marketing manager.

Not all of the animals are ready for adoption just yet, as there are some medical care concerns that need to be addressed.

"We have a few that have heartworm. We have a few with some other medical issues," March said.  

But officials with Humane Pennsylvania, which oversees the Humane Society of Berks County and the Humane League of Lancaster County, still need help to clear some space.

"There is a need for space in our kennels and our cages so we are actually offering a free adoption month for all of our cats," urged Keller.

Free cat adoptions will continue through the end of October.

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