As Dorian threatens US, Berkshires opens its arms to rescued dogs

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PITTSFIELD — Five dogs in the potential path of Hurricane Dorian have come north to hopefully find a loving home in the Berkshires.

Late Tuesday, the Berkshire Humane Society on Barker Road received the quintet of canines rescued from shelters in the Hilton Head area of South Carolina.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Wings of Rescue evacuated the homeless animals ahead of the approaching storm to make room for the potential influx of lost and displaced pets impacted by Dorian.

Berkshire Humane Society Executive Director John Perreault said the dogs are being quarantined until at least Friday and might be ready for adoption by the weekend.

"Our dog kennels are busy this time of year, and we only had room for the five," he said. "We don't have a lot of room at the inn."

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The Berkshire Humane Society isn't affiliated with the ASPCA, but it works closely with the national organization in taking dogs rescued from a natural disaster, according to Perreault.

"This is the third time we've taken rescues, the first time ahead of a storm, instead of from its aftermath," he said.

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The Hilton Head dogs were flown from South Carolina to Delaware, where the Humane Society's shelter manager, Cheryl Truskowski, picked up the pooches and returned to Pittsfield on Tuesday. Altogether, it was an 11- to 12-hour round trip.

The shelter staff wasted no time Wednesday getting the dogs cleaned up, blood drawn and ready to be examined by a veterinarian. Once medically cleared, they can be removed from quarantine and be viewed for adoption.

"We have many dogs in need. I'm sure these five will find good homes," Perreault said.

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Publicity about the rescue dogs could help the nearly 25 other dogs at the shelter get adopted.

The previous two times that the Berkshire Humane Society had rescue dogs, potential adoptive families or individuals also would gravitate toward the ones awaiting new homes for weeks.

"Since we started accepting rescues, the average length of stay before adoption has dropped from 19 to 13 days," Perreault said.

The Berkshire Humane Society has sheltered more than 50,000 homeless animals since its doors opened in 1992, placing 100 percent of all adoptable dogs, cats, birds and small mammals into new, responsible homes. Those interested in adoption can fill out an application at the shelter, 214 Barker Road in Pittsfield, during regular business hours.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com and 413-496-6233.


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