Thirty animals evacuated from shelters in the hurricane-ravaged U.S. Virgin Islands arrived in Westbrook early Thursday morning and are receiving medical care.

The Animal Refuge League in Westbrook is one in a network of shelters that took in animals from St. John, St. Croix and St. Thomas, which were heavily damaged by Hurricane Irma earlier this month.

The 23 cats and seven dogs that arrived Thursday were evaluated by a veterinarian at the shelter and will be given care over the next several weeks before they become available for adoption. They are all under a two-week quarantine required by state law.

“They are doing well,” Jeana Roth, director of community engagement, said of the animals. “Most importantly, they are settled in and resting. It was a long two days of travel for them, so to be able to stretch their legs, eat, relax and sleep was our top priority for them.”

The shelter is encouraging people to consider adopting cats and dogs that are currently ready to go home so there is more space for animals expected to arrive from areas impacted by hurricanes Irma and Harvey, Roth said. The shelter is expecting more than 20 cats and dogs to arrive Friday from an operation in Mississippi that is supporting efforts to relocate animals in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

The Animal Refuge League has been looking for more people to foster animals and this week received more than 50 inquiries from local families interested in joining the network.

“There was a line out the door when we opened at 11 a.m. (Thursday) for adoptions and we anticipate sending many animals off to new happy homes, which will allow us to continue to extend a helping hand to hurricane-impacted shelters,” Roth said.

The Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk and Buddy Up Animal Society in Portland also are taking in animals from shelters in southern states that were impacted by the hurricanes.

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