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MSPCA Rescues 34 Cats from Hurricane-Ravaged Virgin Islands

Felines to be flown from the St. John Animal Care Center, Arrive at MSPCA Adoption Centers this Evening

BOSTON, Oct. 3, 2017 – The MSPCA-Angell announced today it will take in 34 cats from the St. John Animal Care Center on St. John, the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands that was left devastated when Hurricane Irma barreled through as a category 5 storm on Sept. 6, clocking wind gusts of up to 200 miles per hour.

The cats are expected to arrive at Nashua Airport in Nashua, New Hampshire at around 6:00 p.m. this evening.

The cats were already homeless and living in the shelter before the storm struck.  With homes, bridges and roads across the island destroyed—and with residents dispersed and tourism frozen—shelter staff worried that the cats would languish indefinitely in the tiny shelter.

“This is a devastating situation for the people and animals on St. John and we’ll do everything we can to settle the cats into our [Boston, Methuen and Centerville] adoption centers before placing them into new homes,” said Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at the MSPCA-Angell, who received the call for help.

The cats will spend their first 48 hours in a special isolation space set up at the MSPCA-Nevins Farm in Methuen where they can rest, and where staff can tend to any health issues that may have surfaced during the four-hour flight.  All of the adult cats have been spayed and neutered and vaccinated against common disease such as FIV/FELV.

Keiley said the cats are mostly young adults, a mix of males and females, with one senior cat (aged 16) and several kittens.

After 48 hours in isolation the cats will be distributed among the MSPCA’s two other adoption centers in Boston and in Centerville on Cape Cod. “By all accounts these are wonderful and highly adoptable pets and we expect there to be tremendous demand for them,” he said.

How to Adopt

The adoption protocol for the new arrivals will be the same as for every other cat.  “Come in, meet one or more of these cats and, if you feel the cat’s personality is a fit for yours, we’ll happily send you home with one,” said Keiley.

Keiley stressed that the MSPCA still has many other homeless cats awaiting adoption and hopes news of the arrivals from St. John will encourage anyone thinking about adoption to commit to bringing home a new cat this weekend.

Adopters are encouraged to visit the MSPCA adoption center closest to them.  Locations, hours and directions can be found at

The St. John Animal Care Center is relying now more than ever on outside donations of money to ensure critical supplies like food, potable water and medicine do not run out.  To make a donation to the St. John Animal Care Center, click here.


The MSPCA-Angell is a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for thousands of animals each year. Founded in 1868, it is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. Services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and world-class veterinary care. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, non-profit organization. It does not receive any government funding nor is it funded or operated by any national humane organization. The MSPCA-Angell relies solely on the support and contributions of individuals who care about animals. Please visit