JUPITER, Fla. - Seeing the devastation in Puerto Rico is personal for employees of Furry Friends animal clinic in Jupiter.
Ranch manager Roberto Acevedo has dozens of family members struggling from the destruction.
“I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, so all of my family is there. There are places you thought you knew that you don’t even recognize anymore,” said Acevdeo.
When Furry Friends’ President Pat Deshong heard local animal rescue groups were coordinating efforts to send relief to Puerto Rico, she said she knew she had to get involved, not only to help animals, but also Acevedo.
“These pictures that we’re seeing on the news probably do not do justice for how bad things truly are. We have to help, we all have to help,” Deshong said.
Deshong has helped fund a chartered plane, collected supplies and put out a call to raise $15,000 to send a plane stocked with needed supplies to Puerto Rico.
Once the supplies are emptied out, Deshong says they will return with as many animals from Puerto Rico as possible, which have been abandoned on beached and left at storm-ravaged shelters.
Deshong, Acevedo and representatives of other local animal rescue groups will be loading the plane and departing Monday, Oct. 9 for a multi-day relief trip.
“I see it as a win-win,” Deshong said. “We take supplies to Puerto Rico … and we bring back dogs.”
They’re bringing anything from generators, tarps, tents and batteries for people and rescue organizations in Puerto Rico.
They are also bringing supplies and medication for animals.
Acevedo will get the chance to check on his family and help them as he can during the trip.
Furry Friends is still asking for donations, both in supplies and funds to pay for the plane.