Animals evacuated from Irma arrive in Capital Region

September 15, 2017 11:43 PM

MENANDS - While many wait to greet loved ones at the airport, media crews gathered on the tarmac of Million Air terminal for the arrival of one very special cargo plane.

"So they slept all the way here and then on the landing when they feel the pressurization changes that's when they'll wake up and start barking again," Pilot Douglas Arnold explained.

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31 dogs and 15 cats came down the conveyor belt, leaving behind temporary homes in a Palm Beach shelter to hopefully find forever homes in the Capital Region.

"In a few days to a couple of weeks, they're all gonna have brand new lives and it is awesome," Co-Pilot Jennifer Perez said.

But like many of us after a long days travel, these animals are tired, hungry, some even anxious to learn where their journey will take them next.

"We know that these are either stray animals or owner surrenders that had been in the shelter is down in Florida for the days and weeks leading up to the storm," Michael Buckley, the VP of External Affairs at Mohawk Hudson Humane Society said.

Their first stop is the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society where all of the 15 cats will remain. 

17 of the 31 dogs get distributed to four local organizations.

"Some are going to Montgomery County SPCA, the Animal Protective Foundation in Scotia, the Columbia Greene Humane Society and Saratoga County Humane Society," Buckley explained.

Next, each shelter will process, check and vaccinate all the animals but first: 

"My plan most likely to set them up in isolation." Anthonio Baker, Montgomery County SPCA Shelter Manager said, adding, "It's a good place for them to de-stress, acclimate to the environment, get used to the noises and smells."

And with that, these furry friends are onto their next but hopefully not final stop, receiving some tender loving care along the way.

"Mainly, I just want to get them used to my voice and let them know, reassure them that they're going to a safe place, there's nothing else for them to really worry about and comfort them," Baker said.

According to Buckley, the animals at Mohawk Hudson should be ready for adoption early next week.


Karen Tararache

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