FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — More than a dozen dogs landed in Florida Friday from Puerto Rico and are waiting for their forever home at the Nassau Humane Society.
However, the humane society is in trouble and $150,000 in the red. The COVID-19 pandemic closed the society's thrift store for two months and shut down all in-person fundraisers.
"When they come off the plane and you see little guys like this, it is just so exciting," said Mandy Holden, operations manager at the Nassau Humane Society.
The pups are among 150 the Big Dog Ranch Rescue flew in from a dilapidated shelter in Puerto Rico, which had just five staff members to care for around 800 dogs.
"They were all really scared being on a cargo plane across the ocean and then coming into an airport when they've never been off a dirt floor," Holden said.
Holden said the dogs lived their lives in filthy chicken coops or dirty cages in their own feces with no social interaction. The puppies and dogs range in age from three months to three years old.
"They're all probably Lab mixes. That's what they look like. We've got a couple Husky-Lab mixes, gorgeous dogs," Holden said. "They're really all awesome temperaments and laid back."
You may be wondering what you can do if you want to donate to the pup's care or adopt one of the dogs yourself?
"Obviously, with all these dogs we take in, they do have a lot of medical expenses, so if anyone would like to help us with that, with medical costs or care, they can go to our website, at nassauhumane.org or stop be here at the shelter," said Dr. Mandy Kulbel, a veterinarian with the Nassau Humane Society.
"We're kind of their only chance of living a healthy, happy live," Holden said.
The pups will live a new life in a new country, all while putting their best paw forward.