Promoting Animal Welfare (PAW), a non-profit organisation in the BVI is seeking the public’s help in settling a $15,000 bill incurred as a result of the devastating hurricanes last September.
Founder of PAW BVI Natasha Ruscheinski said, following the disasters, more than 250 animals were vaccinated and various tests had to be conducted before they were shipped to rescue shelters in the United States.
“We also continued spaying and neutering and we have also helped people who couldn’t afford it,” she said.
“We had a lot of broken legs and hips since the storm. I guess a lot of animals that used to be indoors, the owners are not home anymore so they are kind of left outside, so apart from the owners feeling the impact of the storm, we saw it a lot in the animals as well. So that’s why we have such a huge bill.”
She told BVI News on Tuesday (May 22) that the animals were either strays or they belonged to owners who fled the territory. They were being housed at the BVI’s Humane Society, which sustained substantial damage during the hurricanes.
According to Ruscheinski, the $15,000 bill is associated with medical costs as well as labour costs to care for and escort the affected animals.
She said the Humane Society International and American country singer Kenney Chesney sponsored their flights out of the territory.
“Since the storm, we hadn’t had much opportunity for fundraising because the human need had been so great so it was difficult to try to raise funds for animals,” she reasoned.
“This is the first time we have ever been in debt.”
Good support thus far
In the meantime, Ruscheinski said the public has been responding favourably to PAW’s appeal. She said since the charitable entity’s social media announcement on Sunday, persons have donated close to $5,000.
“We have had a really amazing response,” she said.
She then urged residents to continue donating to the cause which she described as worthy.
Since its inception, PAW has sponsored the sterilizations of more than 1,200 dogs and cats. The organisation is now assuring that 100 percent of the funds raised will go directly towards their bill.
Persons can donate online on the One Love BVI website or with cash. Cheques made out to PAW BVI can be brought to the Deloitte office.
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