More Vermont Guard members to help in Virgin Islands

Cheryl Sanders
September 23, 2017

On Wednesday, Gear, a member of the board of directors of the St. Croix Humane Society, learned that the animal shelter on St. Croix, which was "practically empty" after the rescue, was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Upon arrival, the pets were taken to Gear's farm, nearby shelters, new families or by other rescue organizations. Instead of trying to save the pets piecemeal, Gear chose to charter a plane immediately and get all 300 of the animals she planned on rescuing, which included numerous dogs and several cats, out at once.

"I did it because it had to be done", Gear told the Pilot.

"This is a Herculean effort to save these animals", Gear told Virginia Beach TV news station WAVY 10. Those 300-plus animals landed safely in Virginia on Tuesday evening; each of them had a note taped to their kennels that read, "I survived Hurricane Irma".

If you want to help Gear and the Island Dog Rescue's efforts, you can donate to the group here. "They just need a home".

Five more members of the Vermont National Guard are headed to the U.S. Virgin Islands to help in the aftermath of back-to-back hurricanes. Since then, she founded Island Dog Rescue, which as the name implies is focused on rescuing animals from the Virgin Islands.

But Gear says the massive rescue mission could've been prevented.

Newton, current assistant general manager of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, was born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and served as co-captain of the U.S. Virgin Islands team in the 1987 Pan American Games.

This past weekend Gear and a group of generous donors, like the Animal Welfare Institute, got together $112,000 to charter a plane from Miami (plus $5,000 for supplies) and they organized a group of volunteers to assist with the rescue. "Island dogs are like that".

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