PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Rosita and Rocco haven’t seen their humans in months.
With their home torn apart by Hurricane Maria, which ravaged Puerto Rico last September, these two pups were separated from their people. Forced to live in shelters, never seeing the familiar faces they’re used to, or playing in the yard, or getting treats from a loving hand.
But, now, that’s all changed thanks to the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team.
The Pittsburgh-based organization has been helping pets and owners devastated by last fall’s extreme hurricanes for months now, including those from Puerto Rico.
Their latest rescue is underway now.
PAART workers began their mission Monday morning when they picked up pets just flown in from Puerto Rico to the St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey. From there, they’re headed to Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio.
The organizations are also partnering with the group, Puerto Rico Animal Unite!, to make the journey happen.
On their first stop, Rosita and Rocco finally found their way home. Sure, maybe the reunion didn’t happen in sunny Puerto Rico, but the snowy roads of Buffalo, New York, are as good a place as any for a long-awaited slobbery kiss.
PAART says on Facebook that Rosita and Rocco’s owner, Yellena and her family, hadn’t seen their furry family members since October. But PAART officials documented the reunion in photos.
They said: “Imagine the happy tears when our land plane drove up that driveway! Lots of tears, tail wags, kisses and big smiles — how beautiful to see them all together again!! Is that a smile Rosita?”
After Buffalo, the PAART team was heading towards Ashtabula, Ohio.
The journey also includes a stop here in Pittsburgh. According to PAART, a few of the pets would be spending two nights at The Big East Animal Hospital in Lawrenceville. From there, they’ll be taken on to Columbus, Ohio, for yet another emotional reunion.
Finding home means just as much for these animals as it does for the owners who had to leave them behind. Even all these months after the hurricanes, the work still continues, and thanks to organizations like PAART, the burden of storm devastation is just a little easier to handle for these families and their furry friends.
Home doesn’t always have mean the property you own or the house that you build there and live in. For these families and their pets, it means being together and sharing memories, whatever life throws at you and wherever it takes you.
If you would like more information on PAART, or how to help them with their rescue missions, visit their website at this link.