Nassau, Bahamas Woman Opened Her Home to Nearly 100 Rescue Dogs Ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Rachel Kirby/iStock via Getty Images
Rachel Kirby/iStock via Getty Images

Hurricane Dorian left the Bahamas earlier this week and is currently creeping up the East Coast, but the island nation is still reeling from the damage. The Category 5 storm killed at least seven people and injured 21 others. But at least one piece of good news has come out of the Bahamas: Chella Phillips, a Nassau resident who runs a local animal refuge, was able to save nearly 100 dogs by taking them into her home, The Washington Post reports.

Phillips shared photos of her house-turned-emergency-animal shelter to Facebook on Sunday, September 1. Of the 97 dogs she took in, 79 of them were barricaded in her bedroom. "It has been insane since last night, poop and piss non-stop but at least they are respecting my bed and nobody has dared to jump in," she wrote in the post.

To keep the scared animals as comfortable as possible, she blasted the air conditioner and broadcast music and cartoons around the house. The sick and most frightened dogs were kept in donated crates.

Dorian hit the Bahamas on the fourth anniversary of the opening of Phillips's animal refuge. The Voiceless Dogs, based in Nassau, cares for stray and abandoned dogs in the community by feeding them, vaccinating them, and offering them shelter. The organization has provided care to roughly 1000 dogs since its inception.

After dealing with flooding and power outages, Phillips and all 97 rescued dogs made it through the storm unscathed. But their hardships aren't over: The Bahamas has only just begun the long recovery process, and caring for the islands' homeless dog population will be harder than ever. The Voiceless Dogs is raising money to pay for dog food, new dog houses, medical care, and transportation fees for U.S. adoptions. To support the cause, you can make a donation to the organization's FundRazr page or donate directly to pawtcake.refuge.inc@gmail.com through PayPal.

[h/t The Washington Post]

Cat That Went Missing In Portland, Oregon Shows Up in Santa Fe, New Mexico—Five Years Later

Oleksandr Shchus/iStock via Getty Images
Oleksandr Shchus/iStock via Getty Images

A few weeks ago, 31-year-old medical student Viktor Usov answered a call from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter claiming to have found his cat, Sasha, who had wandered off five years ago—and 1300 miles away from New Mexico.

Usov, who lives in Portland, Oregon, first thought it was surely a different cat. But his name was listed on the microchip, and the shelter workers described a black, long-haired, friendly feline that sounded exactly like Sasha.

According to OregonLive.com, after Usov adopted the cat from the Oregon Humane Society six years ago, his tender loving care (and his mother’s acupuncture treatments) helped cure Sasha’s distended stomach and chronically runny nose. Sasha soon became affable and spirited, even forming a friendship with Usov’s labradoodle puppy, Tara.

A year later, when Sasha disappeared during a walk, Usov assumed the worst.

“We waited a week or so, but when we didn’t get a call from the Humane Society and no one returned him, we figured a coyote got him,” Usov told OregonLive.com. “We were upset but we moved on.”

Not only did Sasha evade every coyote from Portland to Santa Fe, he also somehow managed to stay well-fed and healthy during his epic journey south.

“How [he] managed to survive to get here is the million-dollar question,” Santa Fe Animal Shelter spokesperson Murad Kirdar told the Santa Fe Reporter. “I can tell you [he] hasn’t missed a meal.”

While Kirdar thinks Sasha might have hitched rides on U-Hauls, trains, and/or cars, Usov imagines that his beloved pet embarked on a spectacular sightseeing tour of the West.

“He went on a grand American adventure,” he told KGW. “He stopped by the Grand Canyon, Crater Lake; he saw the monuments, all the national parks, definitely Redwood Forest.”

Sasha might be more adventurous than most house cats, but he’s far from the only one who has turned up years later and miles away—find out the incredible lost-and-found stories of Alfie, Crockett, and seven other cats here.

[h/t OregonLive.com]

Maine Man Catches a Rare Cotton Candy Lobster—For the Second Time

RnDmS/iStock via Getty Images
RnDmS/iStock via Getty Images

Just three months after a cotton candy lobster was caught off the coast of Maine, another Maine resident has reeled in one of the rare, colorful creatures.

Kim Hartley told WMTW that her husband caught the cotton candy lobster off Cape Rosier in Penobscot Bay—and it’s not his first time. Four years ago, he caught another one, which he donated to an aquarium in Connecticut. While the Hartleys decide what to do with their pretty new foster pet, it’s relaxing in a crate on land.

Though the chances of finding a cotton candy lobster are supposedly one in 100 million, Maine seems to be crawling with the polychromatic crustaceans. Lucky the lobster gained quite a cult following on social media after being caught near Canada’s Grand Manan Island (close to the Canada-Maine border) last summer, and Portland restaurant Scales came across one during the same season. You can see a video of the discovery in Maine from last August below:

According to National Geographic, these lobsters’ cotton candy-colored shells could be the result of a genetic mutation, or they could be related to what they’re eating. Lobsters get their usual greenish-blue hue when crustacyanin—a protein they produce—combines with astaxanthin, a bright red carotenoid found in their diet. But if the lobsters aren’t eating their usual astaxanthin-rich fare like crabs and shrimp, the lack of pigment could give them a pastel appearance. It’s possible that the cotton candy lobsters have been relying on fishermen’s bait as their main food source, rather than finding their own.

While these vibrant specimens may look more beautiful than their dull-shelled relatives, even regular lobsters are cooler than you think—find out 25 fascinating facts about them here.

[h/t WMTW]

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