We at The Humane Society Naples are grateful that the full fury of Hurricane Irma fell short of the expected severity of the storm.
However, Collier and Lee counties still experienced major damage and loss of resources. Most residents are without power, water isn’t potable and gasoline is in very short supply.
We are pleased to report that our main shelter—which underwent a major $4.5 million renovation in 2010—survived the storm with minimal damage. We did have damage to some outbuildings and to our Oakes Boarding and intake kennels, both of which were empty for the duration of the storm. All of our animals in satellite locations (including our Coastland Center Mall location) were moved to our main shelter or went to foster homes.
We had a small group of staff ride out the storm in our shelter. These dedicated employees kept an eye on the animals and the building to mitigate any problems as they arose. All of our staff and animals made it through with no problems.
Our Oakes Boarding will be shut down for the foreseeable future: our mall location, main shelter and veterinary clinic are currently closed but we expect to re-open on Monday, September 18.
Going forward, we have had to make a decision based on what’s best for our pets and what’s best for our community. We are partnering with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to send our shelter pets to San Diego Humane Society, another no-kill, 4-star rated shelter so that they can find furever homes. Naples residents are already overwhelmed and most aren’t ready to add another family member during this difficult time. We have no doubt that there are countless families in another state who want to give loving homes to a “Hurricane Irma” pet. Our staff and volunteers know each and every one of these dogs and cats and will miss them. Our special-needs pets and those in foster homes will remain.
This will also free up our shelter to help pets displaced by the storm. We will work in concert with Collier County Domestic Animal Services to help our local community in this time of need.
However they need us, we will help.
Kitten in Room 2 observing Hurricane Irma’s aftermath.
Now, more than ever, we rely on your support. Here is how you can help:
• If you are a volunteer, please contact our volunteer manager; there is still much to do. We thank you all for your invaluable help preparing for Irma!
• When you are ready, please consider adopting a shelter pet; they make wonderful companions!
• Please donate: we receive no funds from the federal, state or local level. We are not affiliated with The Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) or the Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA); we partner with them on life-saving missions but receive no funds from them. All of our support comes from you, and our four-star Charity Navigator rating proves that we are responsible stewards of the funds that you trust to us.
We hope that you and yours are safe, wherever you may be, and we thank you for your continued trust in and support of The Humane Society Naples.