MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – It’s a long road to recovery for the Safe Animal Shelter in Middleburg. The building took on three feet of water from Irma. Eleven dogs and about six cats were inside at the time the storm hit Monday.
Saturday was the first time staffers got a good look at the damage. Mold covers the floor in every room, anything near the ground. Pet beds, pet food, appliances, and more all need to be replaced.
“The smell hits you and you have to keep telling yourself it’s nothing more than stuff that’s just rotting," said Sherry Mansfield, the shelter's director. "It’s overwhelming. You look at it and you think this is it, we’re never going to open again, but we’re going to do our best.”
As she and her staff work to clear out the building, local shelters and some as far away as Canada are helping take in some of the animals. Others are sending donations.
“We have people from Michigan coming down with a truck load of supplies," Mansfield said. "People are holding concert benefits from Ohio."
The shelter is in need of volunteers and monetary donations to help them get back on their feet. They say they’re thankful for the support that’s already come their way.
“This is definitely going to take a village and everybody has really come forth,” said Mansfield.