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Humane Society of Durham Region rescues Dorian’s canine survivors: ‘We knew we had to help’

WATCH: A few months ago, Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc on the Bahamas. The storm affected many things including the pet population. Now, volunteers with Durham's human society are trying to find those pups a home on our shores. Aaron Streck reports.

A few months ago, hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc on the Bahamas.

The storm took an extreme toll on the population and their homes and businesses, but Dorian also affected the animal population, leaving, among other things, scores of stray dogs filling animal shelters.

Now, volunteers with Durham’s humane societyare trying to find those pups a home on our shores.

“These pups are found in dumpsters, by the side of the road,” said Cindy Bennett, Humane Society of Durham Region volunteer.

They may only be a few months old, but the puppies rescued from the Bahamas have already lived quite an ordeal.

“They’ve never been on a leash, they haven’t felt grass under their feet, they’re just craving attention,” said Bennett.

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READ MORE: HGTV star Bryan Baeumler’s GoFundMe raises more than $70K for Hurricane Dorian victims

They survived Dorian’s path of destruction in the Caribbean and now find themselves thousands of kilometres away in Canada, looking for new homes.

“We knew we had to help,” said Bennett.

Bennett, who has volunteered with the Humane Society of Durham Region for the past 17 years, travelled to the Bahamas earlier this month with another volunteer to rescue eight puppies.

“I’m told they had 30 feet of water in about three minutes in the Abaco Humane Society building,” Bennett said. “That hurts my heart.

“And when Bahamas Humane mentioned they had so many puppies, the Ontario SPCA made a donation that allowed us to go down and bring back these puppies.”

Bahamas ready to welcome Canadians looking to escape to a tropical paradise
Bahamas ready to welcome Canadians looking to escape to a tropical paradise

It’s not the first time volunteers have been able to take on this mission of mercy.

Last December, Bennett was able to bring back 28 puppies from the Bahamas.

Unfortunately, they weren’t able to bring back as many this time around.

READ MORE: Ontario woman dies in Bahamas due to hurricane Dorian

“We’re only allowed three crates in the cargo of the plane,” Bennett explained.

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“If we brought back older dogs, only three could come, so it’s a very difficult decision to choose the ones who get to be the lucky participants in this program.”

“If we have the capacity to help in doing so, we will, no matter where the dogs from,” said Danielle Johnson, Humane Society of Durham Region shelter operations manager.

Cows swept away by Hurricane Dorian found alive in North Carolina
Cows swept away by Hurricane Dorian found alive in North Carolina

While bringing in the pups from the Bahamas, the humane society makes sure they are medically ready before being put up for adoption.

“We do a full intake exam, we make sure their vaccines are up to date, make sure that they’re micro chipped,” said Johnson.

“We also do something called the 4Dx test, where we are testing the blood for any tick-borne illnesses.”

“Despite leaving the beach for snow, they do come here for a better and longer life,” said Bennett.

So far, three of the pups have already been adopted, but five are still looking for their forever homes.

The humane society is planning a return trip to the Bahamas in the new year to help rescue more.