STATESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - At the heart of it, Krissie Newman is an animal lover.
“It’s something I feel I can do to make an impact,” she says.
She is recognized by many people in the community for being part of the Newman NASCAR family. For six days this month, Newman left her Statesville animal rescue called Rescue Ranch to make the trip to the Abaco Islands, in the Bahamas.
“To be able to help, and also showcase to folks at home what is actually happening there,” Newman says. “And that the work doesn’t just happen after the tragedy, the work has to continue to happen.”
Her work included rescuing dogs and cats from what is left of the hurricane-torn island.
“[We had] no running water, no power, we stayed in a hurricane-damaged apartment that one of the locals had let us stay in there,” she says.
Working with the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the animals she helped rescue were kept in a temporary shelter there, then flown to Nassau.
“A lot of dogs and cats,” Newman says. “And you don’t know if they belong to that community, if they’re a stray, or if they’re a known animal, so we just did our best to try to put notices on people’s doors, ‘We have these animals at this shelter, here’s a contact number, this is how they can be reached.’”
Though her heart was pulling her home, it is not easy to be away from the work.
“It was hard to leave,” she says. “Because there’s so much to be done down there.”
And, she says, it is hard to forget the furry faces she met, while helping.
“I take a piece of them all with me,” she says.