Hundreds of dogs, cats and even the occasional pet pig and fighting cock have been left at shelters as people flee hardships on the U.S. territory or find they can no longer cope with animals as they try to rebuild their lives after the Category 4 storm that hit three months ago. Many animals are just left to fend for themselves in the streets.
“The situation is horrible,” said Claribel Pizarro, executive assistant at the Humane Society of Puerto Rico. “They want to turn in pets every single day. … There are a lot of animals being abandoned when we tell them our shelter is full and that there’s a waiting list.”
At least 250 people have put their pets on the list for the Humane Society’s no-kill shelter, which has a capacity of 80 animals but currently has 120. Some live in cages on the roof because there is no room inside, she said.