50-year-old Bahamas animal shelter renovated after hurricane

Thanks to a $225,000 grant, the Humane Society of Grand Bahama (HSGB) – the only animal welfare organization on the island – has been restored.

Rescue Rebuild, a community-driven animal shelter renovation program of GreaterGood.org, joined forces with PetSmart Charities to restore the Humane Society of Grand Bahama (HSGB). This 50-year-old animal shelter – the only one on the island – was ravaged by Hurricane Dorian, putting its animal residents at risk. Serving over 1,400 cats and dogs annually, HSGB is an important part of the island’s community.

Hurricane Dorian left mountains of debris on the HSGB property.

When Hurricane Dorian touched down last September, 185 mph winds ravaged the Eastern side of Grand Bahama Island. Nearly 40 inches of rain added to the already tremendous amount of wind damage, leaving HSGB flooded in approximately 12 feet of water. Shelter staff and some animals narrowly escaped the flooded shelter, and 90 animals perished.

Hurricane Dorian reduced the shelter’s adoptions by 80% a month.

Six members from the Rescue Rebuild team traveled to HSGB in February 2020. They enlisted volunteers from around the country to help them clean out and rebuild the facility, a project that involved removing large amounts of debris (see photo above right), repairing fencing, and installing sunshades, drywall, doors and molding.

“We are grateful for our partnership with PetSmart Charities to help the Humane Society of Grand Bahama get back to a safe working environment for their staff and animals,” said Liz Baker, CEO of GreaterGood.org. “After Hurricane Dorian, shelter operations were crippled, decreasing adoptions by 80% a month. This renovation, which was a huge undertaking, will help the animal shelter return to its normal adoption volume of 100 pets a month.”