Virginia National Guard Deploys to Virgin Islands

Virginia National Guard Deploys to Virgin Islands

Virginia National Guard soldiers will be deployed on the ground by the U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp to get assistance where it is most needed. She's anxious because her sister and brother-in-law are seniors, who have health problems.

Her solution? Charter a plane - fast.

After Hurricane Irma devastated St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, she planned to fly about 20 animals to the continental US each day over a week.

"I did it because it had to be done", Gear told the Virginian Pilot. Many people have evacuated, but what happens to the animals?

Later on in the day, she was back at the farm, hoping to adopt a dog of her own.

The mission, while tiring and expensive, saved the animals' lives, Briller said, noting that Hurricane Maria wiped the roof off of St. Croix's animal shelter.

"While this is a "Feel Good" story, we really would rather not have to do this work. if people were responsible for their pets and didn't breed them", Gear wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday.

The dogs have been in cages since the storm hit - only being taken out for walks.

"This is herculean effort to save these animals", says Gear. "It's so heartwarming seeing that our community is just coming together for this great cause, and wanting to help these dogs".

A group who flew down and retrieved the animals from overcrowded shelters also treated many animals while they were there.

"Our relocation teams will identify shelters across the country that are in the position to help find these animals homes, and our teams will start moving them to their new destinations just as quickly as we possibly can".

Gear wasn't the only one to launch a post-Irma rescue effort for four-legged friends in the Caribbean.

"I have such a big passion for dogs", she said. Irma killed at least three people in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where electricity is expected to be out for months.

Restaurants in Washington, D.C., are doing their part to bolster hurricane relief efforts by adding tropical cocktails to their menus and sending the proceeds to organizations such as Tim Duncan's 21 U.S. Virgin Island Relief Fund. "Island dogs are like that".



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