As Hurricane Delta barreled towards North America, everyone in its path prepared for the worst.
While others boarded up their windows and scurried to grocery stores to load up on supplies, Ricardo Pimentel Cordero of Chinopimentel, Mexico had another priority.
Ricardo runs Tierra de Animales shelter in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, so his only concern was protecting the thousands of homeless or unsecured animals that roam their area. He spent the “calm before the storm” buying hundreds of pounds of grain, seed, and other pet foods. He then brought every animal in the shelter to his home, including a few strays he found along the way.
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All in all, Ricardo housed 300 animals during the storm! Among them were dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, horses, sheep, goats, and even a hedgehog! Realizing he’d taken on a humungous challenge, Ricardo reached out to his social media pages to ask for donations. He was not particularly worried about caring for the pets during the storm, but he worried that the real work would be cleaning up the mess at the shelter afterwards.
“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,” he wrote on Facebook.
All of the animals Ricardo sheltered during the storm made it through with flying colors! even though it couldn’t have been comfortable or easy to care for all of those animals, this modern-day Noah wouldn’t dream of leaving any of them to fend for themselves.
As the storm receded, Ricardo began to assess the damage. His home made it through the storm relatively unscathed, but the shelter had major damage. Several roofs had flown off the buildings, trees were down, and the animal’s play area was littered with debris. It was time once again for Ricardo to appeal to his Facebook friends for help. They delivered!
People showed up to help rebuild the shelter, and people from near and far opened their wallets to make sure the animals Ricardo saved would be fed.
Ricardo’s story is a beautiful reminder that it’s our responsibility to help those less fortunate than ourselves, even the animals who live among us. It also reminds us to ask for help when we need it. People are often more than willing to lend a hand!
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