100 dogs saved in seven months
BRIDGEWATER – It takes a lot of work to move 100 dogs off an island.
It’s another to move 100 dogs and get them adopted in seven months. Also, don’t forget the 40 cats that were adopted.
Elaine and Marc LaCarrubba were able to achieve this during a pandemic.
The two are part of the township-based Island Animal Alliance rescue. The organization is working with shelters in Puerto Rico to bring abandoned dogs and cats from the island for adoption to the United States.
“The excitement of saving the dogs and seeing the adopters get so excited when they see the dogs inspires Elaine and I to do it,” Marc said.
The LaCarrubbas have been volunteering with the Island Animal Alliance for two years, but only started tracking the number of animals they helped adopt seven months ago.
There are half a million stray dogs and one million stray cats in Puerto Rico, according to the Humane Society of Puerto Rico in 2019, the latest information available.
“We have done rescues in the past where planes have landed in Miami, and we have been driving the dogs from Miami to New Jersey,” Elaine said. “It was a lot, so we figured out a way to get them to Newark Airport and it would be only an hour’s drive away then.”
From there, the animals are placed in foster homes and then they are adopted. Normally, it takes one to two weeks for an animal to be adopted.
Elaine said she was determined to help abandoned animals and the hard work of rescue group chairman Niki Dawson, to whom she credits involvement in the mission.
Elaine joined the group’s board of directors in December 2020 and is now in charge of fundraising and helping with the logistics of transporting animals safely.
The LaCarrubbas are helping with three transports a month and aren’t planning to slow volunteering any time soon, they said.
Editorial Intern Julia Duggan: [email protected]