For most people, having one or two dogs in their home is quite enough. There are very few people who have the time, space, and dedication to care for many more dogs in their home. However, there is one woman who loves dogs so much that she was willing to open her home to 97 dogs in need of care. I Heart Dogs says that this is exactly what Chella Phillips did following Hurricane Dorian. Phillips, from Nassau, Bahamas, has always had a great love of dogs. She has devoted her life to rescuing and taking care of local street dogs who need love and attention. In the area where she lives, the street dogs are referred to as ‘potcakes’.
When the arrival of Hurricane Dorian hit the news, Phillips knew that she needed to take action to help the dogs as they were in great danger from the horrific weather that the hurricane would bring. Before the category three storm hit, she went out on the streets to begin her rescue. In an interview, Phillips said that she knew that if the dogs were left on the streets to fend for themselves, most of them would die. She rescued as many dogs as she could, which meant she had 79 dogs living in her master bedroom and 18 more throughout other areas of her home. Phillips said that she couldn’t care less about the dog pee and poop.
On her Facebook page, Chella Phillips posted multiple photographs of the dogs in her home. Along with the pictures, she explained the situation to her followers. She said that despite the chaos in her bedroom, not one of the dogs had jumped into her bed. Phillips explained that she had barricaded the refuge in preparation for the storm and made sure that nobody was outside. She also played music for the dogs and kept them comfortable by putting on the air conditioning for them.
The kind dog rescuer then took the opportunity to thank the locals for their support, some of whom had brought crates for the dogs. Having crates available came in handy for securing some of the dogs who were scared during the hurricane. After the hurricane hit the Bahamas, Phillips updated her Facebook page with a new status to keep people informed about the dogs. She said that overall, they were lucky. However, they did lose power at her home and water came into the property at one stage. Phillips described it as being a stressful night and said that the televisions were blown after being struck by lightning. She was able to joke about the situation, saying that the sick pups wouldn’t be able to watch cartoons anymore.
Once again, she thanked her supporters for their love and prayers and explained that without being rescued, it was unlikely that any of the dogs would have survived outside in the hurricane. The rescuer also expressed her sorrow that she had not been able to help more of the dogs from the streets as she had no more room in her home. In addition to writing the update, she wrote about her horror that the dogs had been mistreated and abandoned in the first place. Phillips went on to beg for help for the dogs, saying that they desperately needed. She hopes that people will come forward to offer to care for some of the dogs so that they do not have to return to the streets.
There have been a few upsides to Phillips’ Facebook posts going viral. First, it has raised awareness of her rescue, which is called ‘The Voiceless Dogs of Nassau’. The refuge takes in abused, dogs from the island. Secondly, an online fundraiser started by Phillips got a fantastic boost thanks to the story going viral. Originally, there was a target to raise $20,000 to support the continued running of the refuge. The raised awareness following the hurricane means that a fantastic $88,000 has been raised. This is much-needed support for the refuge, as Chella is doing this predominantly on her own. She has done amazing work so far, and she has helped approximately 1,000 dogs since she opened the shelter. The money raised will go a long way towards helping her to continue her good work.
While Chella Phillips and the rescue dogs have been lucky during the hurricane, the same does not apply to everyone else. The storm hit the Bahamas on September 1st and reeked devastation across the islands. The winds reached speeds of 185 miles per hour, which is the highest ever recorded at landfall, says the BBC. Grand Bahama, at the north of the archipelago. And the Abaco Islands were battered for two days causing massive destruction to property. Speaking of the natural disaster, Hubert Minnis, the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, said that it was one of the greatest national crises in the history of the country.
At least 20 deaths have been confirmed, although it is expected that this number will continue to rise. !7 of the fatalities were from the Abaco Islands, while three were from Grand Bahama. Rescuers are continuing to search through the debris looking for both survivors and the bodies of those who have perished in the hurricane. The hurricane has since moved along the east coast of the United States, including the Carolinas. Hundreds of thousands of people have been left without power, and many homes have been flooded. For most people living in the affected areas, it is the worst storm they have ever seen. The British Royal Navy has helped to co-ordinate the rescue response. The Red Cross is also supporting the rescue effort by providing aid to those in need. According to UN officials, there are currently 70,000 described as being in immediate need of aid. People around the world are expressing their support via social media.