When inclement weather is expected, pet owners in the area do all they can to batten down the hatches and make sure all their charges stay dry, warm and safe.
For livestock, that means making sure shelters are waterproof and animals have adequate bedding, food and water. For household pets, that often means bringing critters indoors until the worst passes.
But what about when you’re a rescue with hundreds of four-legged creatures looking to you to protect them? Well, if you’re Tierra de Animales, or “Land of the Animals,” you bring them inside. All 300+ of them.
The man behind the 10-acre operation near Leona Vicario, Mexico, is Ricardo Pimentel. He started the rescue around a decade ago.
Before Hurricane Delta hit in early October, the rescue was scrambling to provide safety for the animals under its care, which included around 300 dogs as well as bunnies, chicks, cats, a hedgehog and a flock of sheep, according to Fox News.
“When this hurricane is over, we’re going to need a lot of help to stock up on food and very likely to repair damage,” Tierra de Animales posted on Oct. 6. “Please consider donating to Land of Animals.”
Pimentel ended up opening up his home to the animals. The mess, admittedly, was great… but once they rode out the storm, he said it was worth it.
“The things they broke can be fixed or bought again, but what’s beautiful is to see them happy, healthy and safe, without wounds and with the possibility of being adopted,” he told Fox.
“It doesn’t matter if the house is dirty, it can be cleaned,” he said. “The things they broke can be fixed or bought again, but what’s beautiful is to see them happy, healthy and safe, without wounds and with the possibility of being adopted.”
Photos shared on Facebook show a house packed to the gills with its furry inhabitants. But just because the storm passed doesn’t mean the work was over — there was a lot of cleaning up to do.
“The hurricane has gone away, but it has left us with a lot of work and hundreds of animals to react, feed and keep in better condition,” the rescue posted on Oct. 7. “All help is welcome.”
“Our dear friend Leticia Alves will give us a hand from Playa del Carmen. If they wanted to and could send us donations for animals, we would greatly appreciate them!”
People donated thousands of dollars to the group, which will certainly help feed its charges. Locals donated their time to come help clean. And there’s another potential benefit that Pimentel is hoping for.
“We would like to think that thanks to all this attention, somebody would like to be part of the story and say: ‘I adopted a dog saved from that famous Hurricane Delta,'” he said.
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