Visitors show love for the animals

Visitors show love for the animals

Marleigh Andersen draws the winner of a raffle held by Vicki Rios and her husband, Rob Rios (not pictured), while Andersen’s classmates Brooklyn Payne and Lola Potter watch in anticipation. The Rioses are frequent visitors to the island who sought to support the St. John Animal Care Center with the raffle, which raised nearly $2,000 for the island’s only no-kill animal shelter. The raffle prize was a charm donated by Derek Atchley of St. John Coastal.

“We love St. John and everything the ACC is doing here,” said Vicki Rios. “We were hoping for a couple hundred dollars and we raised about $1,800, plus a few people purchased some of the ACC’s wish list items on Amazon. We’re really grateful that everybody was so generous.”

ACC Shelter Manager Ryan Moore said stateside supporters like the Rioses make a big difference for the nonprofit organization.

“It means a great deal to us to have such wonderful support from people who vacation and travel to the USVI like Rob and Vicki,” said Moore. “We work hard within the community but to be able to reach donors from all parts of the U.S. is huge for us in terms of the success we have. We have many wonderful local donors, but we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the stateside donations and fundraisers. These folks not only play a huge role in funding us, but also helping us with adoptions and transporting dogs and cats stateside as well as volunteering while on island.”