Dogs rescued in Bahamas arrive in South Florida via yacht

Some dogs to be reunited with owners in Florida

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

LOXAHATCHEE GROVES, Fla. - Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Loxahatchee Groves used a plane and a yacht to deliver supplies to the Bahamas and bring rescued dogs to South Florida following Hurricane Dorian.

According to the organization, 60 dogs that were rescued from the islands arrived at Rybovich Marina on Monday morning via the M/Y Laurel, a 240-foot super yacht that was donated to the rescue for the operation.

Some of the dogs are from homes in Marsh Harbour and were separated as their families evacuated. They will be reunited with their owners in Florida. 

Representatives from the organization said the plane was loaded with crates to bring back the dogs, as well as with food, medical supplies and other supplies to support rescue workers.

The plane arrived Saturday morning in Nassau where everything was then loaded into vans. 

The organization said the vans then traveled to the Bahamas Humane Society where the rescued dogs were being cared for.

The dogs received health certificates and had to clear customs before boarding the yacht and being taken to South Florida. A veterinarian accompanied the dogs on the ride over.

"We wanted to bring in lifesaving supplies and bring back the dogs who lost their shelter as soon as possible," Big Dog Ranch Rescue Founder and President Lauree Simmons said in a news release. "Ray and Jennifer (Huigenza) were key stepping up to help and donating use of their plane. (M/Y Laurel Chief Officer) Wikus (Botes) led the effort to transport the dogs to West Palm Beach on the Laurel. I hope their work will inspire everyone to help us as we continue to provide supplies and relief to the animals suffering from this tragedy in the Bahamas." 

According to Big Dog Ranch Rescue, it was necessary to bring the dogs to Florida as the Bahamas Humane Society needs more space as more dogs are being brought in.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue has vowed to continue bringing dogs to Florida from the facility and to providing supplies to the Bahamas as needed.

Those who wish to support the rescue effort by donating supplies or making a monetary donation may do so by visiting BDRR.ORG.

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