A woman giving shelter to 97 dogs inside her home in the Bahamas as Hurricane Dorian continues its destruction on parts of the island is attracting thousands of dollars in donations.
“[Ninety-seven] dogs are inside my house and 79 of them are inside my master bedroom. It has been insane since last night, poop and piss nonstop but at least they are respecting my bed and nobody has dared to jump in,” the woman identified as Chella Phillips from Nassau, New Providence, posted on her Facebook page Sunday.
“I managed to bring some less fortunate ones and I really appreciate some of you donating for crates... I really needed it for the scared ones and the sick ones. So thank you! We may not get hit as hard as other islands and the saddest part is that after the hurricane leave the Bahamas, some islands will take a long time to recover,” she explained ahead of the widespread devastation in areas such as the Abaco Islands where “bodies are floating” according to local reports.
Phillips, who runs a refuge for homeless and abandoned dogs called “The Voiceless Dogs of Nassau, Bahamas,” said many of the islands in the Bahamas have homeless dogs but not all of them have operations like her shelter. The Bahamas consists of about 700 islets and islands of which 30 are inhabited.
A fundraiser she launched in August to help raise $20,000 to care for 79 dogs she was already caring for has since skyrocketed to more than $95,000 as of Tuesday. In July, Phillips posted a birthday fundraising request on Facebook to help her care for 74 dogs. She raised just over $3,300 in that fundraising drive.
It's unclear whether the 97 dogs that are now in her home are from the dog rescue center or whether she regularly cares for a large number of dogs at her home.
“Each island has abundance of homeless dogs, my heart is so broken for the ones without a place to hide [in] a CAT 5 monster and only God can protect them now. Thank you for thinking of us and praying for us. Coincidentally, today is the fourth anniversary since the refuge opened its doors to homeless and abandoned dogs. [A]nd we have cared for nearly 1,000 of them, which we are very proud that we managed to give them hope so they could all be happy at last. Please pray for the Bahamas!” Phillips added.
Phillips said despite a “stressful night,” after being flooded on Sunday, they have been working hard to stay, and say were “alright.”
“… Not even 3 pumps could contain the rain from washing us inside and after an hour all 3 pumps reheated and burned down and we have been outside with buckets fighting a losing battle. ... All services are down, all TVs are fried from the lightnings so no more cartoons for the sick dogs until we can purchase new ones,” she wrote.
“My brother slept an hour. I had been on my feet without any sleep drying the house and looking after my terrified dogs. I pray for the other islands who have unimaginable damages and I don't see how any dogs or any living being could have survived outside. My heart goes out to them.
She added, "Thank you for the outpouring support and heartfelt prayers from so many people that don't even know us, my post from yesterday went viral and total strangers are reaching out to us giving us the exposure that we need so bad."