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Chicago Animal Shelter Rescues Over 75 Dogs and Cats from Caribbean Island: 'We Just Had to Step In'

One of the dogs had been "tortured and burned" on Dominica before being rescued

<p>PAWS Chicago/Courtney Frederick</p> Chicago animal shelter rescues cats and dogs.

PAWS Chicago/Courtney Frederick

Chicago animal shelter rescues cats and dogs.

A Chicago animal shelter is doing good this holiday season.

Earlier this month, PAWS Chicago — one of the largest no-kill animal welfare organizations in the country — rescued more than 75 dogs and cats from the Caribbean Island of Dominica, according to a news release obtained by PEOPLE.

The animals, the organization said, were "horrifically abused" and had been "tortured, beaten, poisoned and left for dead" before the St. Nicholas Animal Rescue, the island’s only shelter, took them in.

But, when the shelter was forced to close, the Los Angeles-based charity Wings of Rescue stepped in and orchestrated an emergency rescue mission.

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<p>PAWS Chicago/Courtney Frederick</p> Chicago animal shelter rescues cats and dogs.

PAWS Chicago/Courtney Frederick

Chicago animal shelter rescues cats and dogs.

Related: One-Eyed Kitten and Injured Puppy Become Best Friends After Meeting at Kentucky Shelter's ICU (Exclusive)

After the animals arrived stateside, the news release said they were "immediately examined to begin treatment by the PAWS Chicago veterinary team."

Chicago residents can now provide aid to any of the cats or dogs featured in the PAWS program by signing up to foster or adopt them, or by donating to rescue efforts.

Among the dogs looking for their forever homes are Sage, a stray who was beaten and kicked, resulting in four broken ribs and a fractured leg, as well as Grover, a senior who was left in the city center where children tortured and burned him.

Cats that are also looking for homes include those that were rescued from the meat trade and kittens who were thrown in a river, PAWS Chicago said.

<p>PAWS Chicago/Courtney Frederick</p> Chicago animal shelter rescues cats and dogs.

PAWS Chicago/Courtney Frederick

Chicago animal shelter rescues cats and dogs.

Related: Loving Stray Dog Steps in as Surrogate Mom for Hungry, Abandoned Puppies at Texas Shelter

In a statement given to NBC Chicago, Susanna Wickham, CEO of PAWS Chicago, said, “We just had to step in when we heard what was happening. They need love.”

She added, "Even though these animals have been through really horrific abuse, they arrive here ready to trust and love and they are just wonderful creatures. They teach us so much and we are thankful to be able to help them."

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Read the original article on People.