Hurricane Delta slammed into the coast of Cancun, Mexico, in early October, leaving Ricardo Pimentel with few alternatives.
Pimentel is the founder of Tierra de Animales, a jungle-surrounded animal refuge on the outskirts of Cancun. He has cared for approximately 500 animals over the course of nine years, including stray cats, dogs, chickens, turkeys, horses, lambs, pigs, cows, and donkeys.
He realized the dog shelters wouldn’t be able to withstand a Category 4 hurricane, so he did what any animal lover would do: he welcomed the puppies to spend the night at his house.
Pimentel told The Dodo, “We have two bedrooms, one kitchen, and one bathroom ready for volunteers who want to come and stay here to help us with all the things that we have to accomplish.” “We chose to keep virtually all of the dogs inside the home because we don’t have complete faith in the shelters we have now because they aren’t hurricane-proof.”
Bringing 300 dogs inside, however, was no simple task. Before the hurricane made impact, Pimentel and his helpers collected up the dogs and helped them inside for five hours.
“We had to bring them in two by two on leash,” Pimentel explained. “We had to carry several of them to the home because they were scared or didn’t know how to walk on a leash, but it was worth it because they are all safe.”
Pimentel anticipated that having so many animals in such a tiny space would result in a shambles. He was ecstatic, though, when everyone seemed to get along.
He remarked, “They were actually quite well-behaved entire night.”
Fortunately, the hurricane had weakened to a Category 2 storm by the time it reached the sanctuary, however the high winds still caused damage.
“When the hurricane passed, we had to perform a lot of repairs and clear all [the animals’] areas from trees and branches the next morning,” says the narrator “According to Pimentel. “So they stayed in the house until 5 or 6 p.m. the next day.”
“Of course, there was a foul odor in the home, and they smashed a few items, but there’s nothing to be sorry for,” says the narrator “Added he. “If necessary, I would do it a million more times.”
Pimentel is currently trying to construct hurricane-proof shelters on his 10-acre property so that all of the animals will be safe. He also wishes to take in additional animals so that no one needs to sleep on the streets for another night.