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When the roof blew off the North Naples dog rescue where he volunteers, Keyleigh James developed near-superhuman strength.

“I didn’t know I could carry a 50-pound dog and a 40-pound crate at the same time,” James, 26, said Wednesday. “I guess that’s adrenaline for you.”

James rode out Hurricane Irma at All Pets Grooming and Boarding, which operates the Kindness of Strangers Animal Rescue, on Immokalee Road east of Collier Boulevard.

James scrambled to move the dogs and crates from room to room as the wind tore off the roof in pieces. The shelter flooded knee-deep in some places during the storm. The fence and deck roof at the rear of the building blew away. The spray foam insulation is exposed inside.

“I didn’t think I was going to make it out of here with all the pups,” James said. “I was sick thinking about it.”

He’s spent the last few days keeping 23 stressed dogs calm and fed and patching up holes in the shelter roof. Kelly Normand, director of Kindness of Strangers, has dozens of animals she’s rescued at her own home, so James took care of the shelter for her during the hurricane.

Kindness of Strangers hopes to have all its dogs adopted or fostered for a few days to get the pets out of the heat. There is no power at the shelter, and food, treats and water for the pets are running low.

“We just want the dogs to be comfortable and safe,” James said. 

The shelter has mostly smaller dogs — several Chihuahuas, a few Yorkies and a miniature pinscher. They also have some terrier mixes, an American bulldog, a Rhodesian ridgeback, a poodle and a black mouth cur.

To help, visit the shelter at 100 Rose Blvd. or contact James at 239-231-0380. Text messages work best. Voicemail messages can be left at 239-649-7387.


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