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Local businesses collect donations for the Bahamas

Posted at 7:25 PM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 19:25:06-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Maria Paterno’s collecting donations at All Out Bail Bonds to send to the Abaco islands Friday morning, those islands hit hardest by Hurricane Dorian which has killed five people there so far. Volunteers will deliver the supplies by boat and transport some survivors to safer islands.

Paterno said she feels a personal connection to the people devastated by the hurricane.

“We have a home there on another island. And we love the people of the Bahamas and feel really connected there and would like to help,” she said. “I mean, they have nothing.”

Daniela Habermehl with Humane Haven Animal Sanctuary is collecting donations and plans to travel back and forth to the Bahamas to provide medical attention and aid to people and animals who need it starting this weekend.

“We don’t anticipate that this is a one weekend outreach trip. We do plan on going back and continuing our efforts,” she said.

This isn’t her first rescue. She worked with volunteers to rescue animals stranded after Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas in 2018.

She plans to fill up a U-Haul truck parked in front of Millennial Brewery downtown Fort Myers by Friday. She said if authorities permit, she’ll bring cats, dogs and other abandoned animals back to the U.S. to get fostered and hopefully adopted.

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