It’s hard in these trying times after Hurricane Harvey, Irma and now Maria, to find stories that are uplifting, but this story certainly does restore our faith in humanity.
This woman from Virginia, named Sali Gear, rescued pets that were stranded on the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma left absolute chaos in its wake in the Caribbean.
Over 300 pets were airlifted away from the chaos and hurricane-stricken U.S. territory, all thanks to a privately chartered flight. Gear, who found Island Dog Rescue, coordinated with all the pet shelter on the Virgin Islands before Irma hit, so they were able to successfully transport all the animals in need to her Virginia farm.
Gear initially planned to fly out 20 animals every day, but after Irma hit St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, and Hurricane Maria was looming, Gear realized she needed to expedite her plans to rescue the pets.
So, with the help of generous donations from people all over the country and the world, she was able to cover the $112,000 cost for the chartered flight and $5,000 for the pet carriers.
— Norfolk Airport (@NorfolkAirport) September 20, 2017
Thanks to the donations of many people, the plane got to the islands in the nick of time. Nobody else was able to rescue the hundreds of animals left behind, not even the government, so Gear took initiative and decided to save these countless lives.
Gear and her team completely cleared out all shelters on the islands, which were previously full of animals displaced by Hurricane Irma. All 300+ animals landed safely in Virginia, and even there people showed up to help.
Volunteers showed up at the farm to help reintegrate the animals into normal life after their traumatic experience because of Hurricane Irma.
Gear is not the only person directing help efforts towards the islands, as Royal Caribbean International rerouted one of its cruise ships to rescue 304 people and 16 pets left behind by Irma as well. It’s people like these that truly restore my faith in humanity. Amazing things can happen when people come together to help others!
New arrivals from the U.S. Virgin Islands! They came to us via the Humane Society of St. Thomas & Island Dog Rescue after Hurricane Irma! pic.twitter.com/q2IuE0xycp
— FredericksburgSPCA (@FburgSPCA) September 20, 2017