HALO rescues 75 dogs from Grand Bahama Island

Hurricane Dorian survivors at the Grand Bahamas Humane Society. [Photo: Director Tip Burrows]

An Indian River County animal shelter is rescuing scores of displaced dogs from the devastation in the Bahamas.

H.A.L.O., the no-kill animal rescue organization based in Sebastain, has partnered with the international nonprofit GreaterGood and other support organizations to save the dogs.

The animals were scheduled to be flown from the islands to Ft. Pierce this week in two Cessna 208 Caravan single-engine turboprops, utility aircraft often used for cargo operations.

The transportation was arranged by Nick Barson, a professional skydiver who heads Paws Landing, a nonprofit whose mission it is to help rescue animals “by making airplanes with fuel available to pilots willing to donate their time to fly the animals.”

H.A.L.O.’s Director of Development Allyson Bootes said the Humane Society of Grand Bahama was heavily impacted by flooding and H.A.L.O.’s mission was to bring back 75 animals that survived the storm but can’t be cared for in the ruined facility.

Volunteers loaded the dogs, secure in small kennels, into the aircraft on the tarmac at the storm-ravaged Grand Bahama airport. After a short flight, additional volunteers met the arriving animals at the Ft. Pierce airport and took them to H.A.L.O.’s facility in Sebastian.

After the rescued dogs have had the opportunity to recover from their traumatic experiences, adjust to new surroundings, and are thoroughly checked out, H.A.L.O. will make them available for adoption.

On the flight into Grand Bahama, the Cessnas delivered medical supplies and food for other surviving animals at the island’s Humane Society shelter.

H.A.L.O. was assisted in its mission by the online charitable organization GreaterGood, Bootes said.

When H.A.L.O. ran into problems getting clearance for its flights into the damaged airport from the Bahamian government, GreaterGood was able to step in and use its contacts to get approval.

According to its website, “GreaterGood strives to connect a passionate audience with simple online tools to make the world a better place. We turn your desire to make a difference into tangible, documented support for charities that help people, save pets, and improve the planet. By connecting millions of caring people like you, we have created an online community with real power to change the world.”

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