Man Opens His Home To 300 Dogs To Protect Them From Hurricane

When danger is in the air, it has a way of making us laser-focused on what's really important in life.

Even if we put a lot of care into something, we can find ourselves fully prepared to abandon it if doing so increases the chances of protecting our loved ones. Moreover, we can even surprise ourselves with the fears we're suddenly willing to push aside to provide some much-needed help.

It's for that reason that the people we may be inclined to call heroes tend to reject that title because they see their actions as simply reactions or "doing what anybody would do."

All of this underscores why one man who apparently has a few hundred more loved ones than we might have expected was willing to go through a massive undertaking to keep them safe.

For the last nine years, Ricardo Pimentel has been running the Tierra de Animales animal sanctuary near Cancun, Mexico.

As he told The Dodo, this sanctuary has cared for over 500 animals in that time.

While these include the dogs and cats we might normally expect, Tierra de Animales has also hosted turkeys, chickens, sheep, horses, pigs, cows and donkeys.

But when Hurricane Delta was poised to land on Mexico's Yucatán peninsula, Pimentel knew that his only option was to move the shelter's animals inside his home.

As he said, "We decided to put almost all the dogs inside the house, simply because we don’t fully trust in the shelters that we currently have because they aren’t hurricane-proof."

This meant that Pimentel suddenly needed to find space for 300 dogs and a small menagerie of other creatures.

As The Guardian reported, his son's room ended up hosting dozens of cats while his daughter's room became a haven for rabbits as well as the chicks and hedgehog you see here.

And since most of his house was packed with dogs, the flock of sheep in his care had to stick to the patio.

As you might imagine, sheltering so many animals in a two-bedroom house presented some real challenges for Pimentel.

As he told The Dodo, he and his volunteers spent about five hours herding the animals into the house.

As he put it, "We had to bring them in on leash two by two. Some of them are afraid or don’t know how to walk on a leash, so we had to carry them to the house."

It also shouldn't come as a surprise that this process left the house smelling terrible but Pimentel considered the results as worth the trouble.

As he said, "It doesn’t matter if the house is dirty, it can be cleaned. The things they broke can be fixed or bought again, but what’s beautiful is to see them happy, healthy and safe, without wounds and with the possibility of being adopted.”

Instead, Pimentel's biggest concern was how he would feed the animals if store closures brought about by the hurricane led to food shortages.

As he told The Guardian, "If I lived with just 10 or 20 dogs, I wouldn’t worry much, but here we have hundreds of animals and we can’t afford the luxury of not having enough food."

This concern led him to ask for donations but he was nonetheless surprised when he received them in the thousands of dollars.

But thanks to Pimentel's actions, all of the animals that he took in survived the storm.

As The Dodo reported, it also helped that what seemed like a Category 4 hurricane turned out to be a Category 2 storm instead.

Nonetheless, it caused enough damage that Pimentel is now in the process of building hurricane-proof shelters throughout all of Tierra de Animales.

If that comes to pass, the vulnerable animals that end up in his care can receive the same dedication to protecting their well-being but with much fewer headaches along the way.

h/t: The Dodo, The Guardian

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