An update from Barbuda on Hurricane Irma

March 09 2018

We recently returned from a monitoring and evaluation visit, something we build into every relief effort to ensure that funds are being used toward the help and care of animals.

Last year, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda described the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma as "near total" and estimated upward of 95% of the structures on the island had been damaged or destroyed.

In what could only be described as a shocking scene, thousands of distressed animals on the island of Barbuda were abandoned as owners were directed to flee without their pets, and farm animals were left to forage for what grass was left.

All animals were abandoned when residents were forced to evacuate - the team were given a list of pets and they called their names when searching the island.

Scott Cantin of our Disaster Response Team described the scene; Barbuda became “an abandoned island full of animals roaming on their own. I can only imagine the anguish of the owners forced to leave their animals behind and the confusion and fear of the animals themselves."

Bringing aid to animals in need

Thanks to our wonderful supporters who responded to our calls for aid after Hurricane Irma, we helped feed, treat and care for 50,000 animals over four countries affected by the hurricane last year.

Members of the team fed hungry dogs.

Monitoring progress

We regularly communicate with the Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society (ABHS) and they ensure that all the dogs in their care are fed and given water every day, including the dogs housed in the temporary Doggy Hotel, established by the Barbuda Council - the remaining dogs will continue to stay there until kennels are completed.

Of the twenty dogs that were initially housed at the temporary facility, 16 have been reunited with owners.

Sonic, a young pit bull terrier, was looked after and reunited with his owner by our partner group, the Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society.

Approximately 130 dogs on Barbuda are being looked after and fed every day. The dogs at the temporary shelter have received treatment including deworming and treatment for ticks.

Once the kennel construction is complete we will be conducting spay/neuter clinics and all dogs will be registered and microchipped.

The ABHS is coordinating the animal related relief efforts after being nominated by the Antigua and Barbuda government.

We have worked with ABHS for over twenty years and previous projects include a massive relocation of dogs following the 1997 Montserrat earthquake.

Over 50 years of disaster response

Thanks to ongoing contributions from our supporters, from, we’ve helped more than 7 million animals in over 250 disaster responses spanning 53 years.

Learn more about our work protecting animals during disasters >

Thanks to our wonderful supporters who responded to our calls for aid after Hurricane Irma, we helped feed, treat and care for 50,000 animals over four countries affected by the hurricane last year.
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