WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Around 220 dogs and 50 cats were lost when Hurricane Dorian caused a deluge in an animal shelter in the Bahamas.
- As the flood quickly rushed in, the staff members had limited time to evacuate the animals until they were ultimately forced to escape before they drowned.
- The staff of the Humane Society of Grand Bahama felt ‘devastated,’ especially since they were ‘trusted’ to keep watch of the animals.
Hurricane Dorian left an animal shelter in the Bahamas devastated by floods, causing hundreds of animal deaths.
Around 220 dogs and 50 cats were lost by the time the flood subsided.
The Humane Society’s executive director, Elizabeth Burrows, said that since the building survived the past hurricanes, the staff believed it would also be safe from Dorian.
Burrows explained to WKRG-TV, “And since we didn’t flood in the other storms, we really felt like we might get some water, but we had no idea we would get the flood that we did.”
This time, however, the building’s elevated foundation was not enough. The flood rushed in so suddenly, that the employees had limited time to evacuate the animals.
As the flood quickly rose to chest-deep water, the staff members were forced to escape before they drowned.
The shelter’s supervisor, Felicia Telfort, recounted the situation to WKRG: “[We were] making sure that everything would be safe to try and put it up high. We ran up in a manhole because the water started to come up so high.”
They were forced to wait out the storm in the attic, where they could still hear the heartbreaking cries of the frightened animals below.
Telfort recalled, “The kennel dogs were still howling and crying. We experienced all of that until they were not even crying anymore.”
Most of the animals had been waiting for adoption. There were also others entrusted to them by owners who evacuated or left for shelters that didn’t allow animals. Burrows said she felt “devastated,” especially since they were “trusted” to keep watch of the animals.
Burrows told WKRG, “We couldn’t have predicted this, but I still feel responsible. My heart is broken for the shelter animals that we lost, and I feel so bad for the people who trusted their animals to us. And ultimately we could not protect them.”
Hurricane Dorian has so far caused 45 confirmed deaths in the Bahamas. Nearly 70,000 were left homeless. According to Bahamian officials, the final death toll could be in the thousands.