A woman in the Bahamas took in nearly 100 stray dogs to save them from Hurricane Dorian
via Chella Philips / Facebook

Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas over the weekend. The category 5 hurricane was the strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall on record.

Dorian has been blamed for at least five deaths and unimaginable property destruction on the Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas.

"Nearly everything is gone" in Marsh Harbour, a town in the Abaco Islands, Bahamas Foreign Minister Darren Henfield reported, according to a U.S .State Department official.


"I have never seen destruction like this on this scale on an island before," "Good Morning America" correspondent Marcus Moore reported on Tuesday.

RELATED: Woman sets up secret camera in a bird feeder and the images are incredible

While we often consider the toll that such a monstrous hurricane has on people and property, they are also devastating for the pets and stray animals caught in the storm.

For decades, the Bahamas has had a large stray dog population, and such a hurricane is deadly for the street-roaming dogs with no food or shelter.

Chella Phillips, a woman from Nassau, the Bahamian capital, did the unthinkable and rescued 97 stray dogs and brought them to her home to protect them from Dorian. Phillips is a dog enthusiast who runs the Facebook page "The Voiceless Dogs of Nassau, Bahamas."

On Monday morning, she shared a post on Facebook describing the scene in her home.

"97 dogs are inside my house and 79 of them are inside my master bedroom," she wrote. "It has been insane since lastnight, poop and piss non stop but at least they are respecting my bed and nobody has dared to jump in."

"We have barricaded the refuge and nobody is outside," she continued, "the music is playing in all directions of the house and the AC is blowing for them."

While Nassau wasn't hit as hard as the Abaco Islands to the north, Phillips home flooded and she isn't sure what to do with the dogs after the hurricane passes through.

"I still have 79 dogs at my refuge, and there doesn't seem to be many rescues willing to help me with finding them homes," she wrote. "Without partner rescues taking in some of my babies, they will be stuck here in limbo, just waiting for the future that I promised them."

RELATED: People are freaking out because they can't tell if the animal in viral video is a bird or a rabbit

Phillips hopes to give the dogs forever homes with families, but it seems unlikely on an island that is already overrun by homeless dogs.

However, people have been chipping in to help Phillips care for the dogs and find them homes. A fundraiser with a goal of $20,000 was established and it has already received over $84,000 in donations.

"I need you all for financial support, to continue helping this island's homeless. Just as important, I need your help to find forever homes for my babies," Phillips plead.

To help Phillip's efforts to save the dogs of Nassau, click here.

From Your Site Articles
Related Articles Around the Web
True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

True
Microsoft Office

This article originally appeared on 03.19.15


Last Christmas, Alex got exactly what he always wanted: a new "robo" arm.

Sure, it's basically like having a second hand, but it also does something equally important: It totally reflects his personality. How? It's a "Transformers"-themed arm.

Keep Reading Show less