Cashiers Highlands Humane Society, From Islands to Mountains

David Stroud

On October 19, the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society joined forces with three other animal welfare organizations creating a four-state response to help rescue dogs from Puerto Rico.  

Joining CHHS from North Carolina was the Atlanta Humane Society (Georgia), Nashville Humane Association (Tennessee), and the Charleston Animal Society (South Carolina).  All four groups met in Atlanta to greet a very special plane arriving from Puerto Rico carrying precious cargo – 118 Hurricane Maria canine survivors. 

The CHHS Animal Rescue Team arrived back at the shelter in Sapphire at 1:00 A.M. on Friday, October 20, with 24 dogs and puppies.  After full medical check-ups and spay/neuter, all the Hurricane Maria survivor dogs were ready for adoption into their new forever homes. 

Of the estimated 14,000 animal shelters and rescue groups nationwide, CHHS is one of only 350 in the United States who has been designated as an Emergency Placement Partner with the Humane Society of the United States.  This is the latest rescue by CHHS to help save animals suffering in illegal puppy mills, cruelty and hoarding cases, and natural disasters.  Previous deployments by the CHHS Animal Rescue Team helped save the lives of animals in need in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and throughout the State of North Carolina.

Kimberley Alboum, Shelter Outreach and Policy Engagement Director for the Humane Society of the United States, has been in Puerto Rico since the first days after the hurricane and had this to say about the animals being rescued by CHHS: “Amid the devastation to Puerto Rico, it is incredible to see our stateside coalition of shelter partners bring these wonderful animals into their programs.  This flight would not have been possible without the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society team and we are so grateful for their commitment to animals locally and nationally.”

“The humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico is unfathomable,” said CHHS Executive Director David Stroud.  “And as humans suffer, so do the animals entrusted to their care.  Hurricane Maria may not be the top story on the evening news anymore, but if anything, conditions there are worse than ever.  We were honored to join forces with our friends in Atlanta, Nashville, and Charleston, and with the Humane Society of the United States to give safe refuge and the promise of a new life in a loving forever home for these brave canine survivors.”

Established in 1987, Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit no-kill animal shelter that receives no state or county tax dollars, and no funding from any national animal organization.  CHHS is located on Highway 64 in Sapphire, two miles east of the Cashiers Crossroads and is open 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Monday through Saturday.  For more information, visit us online at or call CHHS at (828)743-5752.  Tax-deductible donations to support our lifesaving work can be mailed to: CHHS, P.O. Box 638, Cashiers, NC 28717.