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Ricardo Pimentel is surrounded by dogs at his home in Puerto Morelos. Ricardo Pimentel is surrounded by dogs at his home in Puerto Morelos.

Man takes 300 dogs into his home to protect them from hurricane

Cats, chickens and a hedgehog were also taken in by animal shelter operator

A man who runs an animal shelter in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, took 300 dogs and several other animals into his home this week to provide them with protection from Hurricane Delta.

Some were in kennels, but most enjoyed free rein of his home during the storm on Tuesday night and early Wednesday.

Ricardo Pimentel Cordero, the founder of the Tierra de Animales shelter, documented the hurricane preparation process on social media. “We have already started the preparation work for the hurricane here in Tierra de Animales (cutting branches, securing things that can fly, walling up windows and doors, filling drums with water, charging flashlight batteries, etc, etc). More radical is that we are going to fill the house with dogs, so there is going to be a poop party, but what can you do?” he wrote in advance of Delta’s arrival.

Word quickly spread on social media and many of Tierra de Animales’ more than one million Facebook friends helped out with donations to cover the cost of food and repair the inevitable damage to his home after keeping so many animals inside.

“If I lived alone, or only with about 10 or 20 dogs  then I would not worry too much, but here there are hundreds of animals, and we cannot afford not to have enough food stored, so I strongly ask you to support us if it you can.”

His action clearly moved a number of Facebook users. “Wow … I did not believe that there was a person with such a good heart as you,” wrote one woman. “I am a person of limited economic resources, so I donated only 200 but my love for animals is greater than my material poverty and I will continue to donate every week while my wallet allows it. Huge hug for you and for all the rescue animals in your house.”

Although Pimentel lost power and internet during the hurricane and passed a tense, sleepless night, none of the animals he cares for at the shelter was hurt during the storm, he reports. However, the shelter’s facilities suffered material damage, with tin roofs blown off and the grounds littered with fallen branches and downed trees. The inside of the house will also need some clean-up.

He hopes his love for animals and the sacrifice he made to keep them safe will inspire others. “If I can put more than 300 dogs, a shitload of cats, some chickens, a hedgehog, some baby bunnies and who knows how many more animals in my house, be cool and take in a stray dog or cat on your block during a hurricane,” he wrote.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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