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Adopters Wanted! Dozens of Animals from COVID-19 and Storm-Ravaged St. Thomas Arrive in Massachusetts

MSPCA-Angell Transports a Total of 38 Dogs, Puppies, Cats and Kittens to the Bay State—All of Whom will be placed for Adoption

BOSTON and Centerville, Mass., Sept. 22, 2020 – With the Virgin Islands still reeling from destruction caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the category 5 storms that passed over St. Thomas in 2017, adoptable animals at The Humane Society of St. Thomas—the only animal shelter on the island—have faced yet another barrier to adoption: the COVID-19 pandemic, which has blunted world tourism and brought adoptions on St. Thomas to a near stand-still.

But now, as the Atlantic hurricane season kicks into high gear, the MSPCA-Angell is on the case.  On Aug. 29th, the organization received its first transport from the island: 10 cats and three dogs.  The animals were routed to the MSPCA-Cape Cod in Centerville and, after completing a state-mandated 48-hour quarantine, have been placed into new homes.

“The Humane Society of St. Thomas is over-capacity just as more hurricanes begin to form—any number of which could make landfall over the Virgin Islands in the coming weeks,” said Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at the MSPCA-Angell, who noted that September is National Preparedness Month, a time when families and individuals are encouraged to plan ahead before disasters, such as hurricanes, strike.

“Nine of the cats we are taking have been in the [St. Thomas] shelter for over a year—including a 12-year-old who arrived in 2014—so we’re really grateful to be in a positon to help these pets find excellent homes in Massachusetts,” added Keiley.

Second Transport of Animals Settle in at the MSPCA

The second transport—consisting of 18 adult cats, five kittens, one adult dog and a puppy—were flown from St. Thomas to Florida on Sept. 18 before making the long trip, by van, to Massachusetts.

Now settled at the Cape Cod shelter, officials hope to have them ready for new homes on or just after Sept. 23, provided that examinations show they are healthy enough to leave quarantine.

Despite all they have been through, the animals are friendly, social and playful.  “We would consider these cats and dogs to be highly adoptable, and would make wonderful pets for most homes,” said Keiley.  “Moreover, the animals will help us meet the demand for cats and dogs that has only intensified since the start of the pandemic.”

Anyone interested in adopting can contact the adoption center directly at

This is the second time in three years the MSPCA-Angell helped evacuate pets from the Virgin Islands.  In wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, the organization took in 34 cats living in a shelter on St. John, and placed them into new homes in New England.

Adopting Animals, Helping Our Community

In addition to caring for the new arrivals, the MSPCA continues its efforts to help financially stressed pet owners across Massachusetts.  Since the Coronavirus pandemic began, the organization has delivered more than 616,000 pet meals to food banks and individuals, in addition to providing subsidized medical care to more than 2,200 animals—and the organization is set to kickstart Community Outreach initiatives on Cape Cod beginning Oct. 4.

The St. Thomas animals are just some of the thousands of animals the MSPCA will care for in 2020 alone—both inside and outside its three adoption centers.  Readers who would like to offset the cost of their care—and the care of animals just like them—can click here to make a donation.