Alisa Manzelli, Global Animal
After Hurricane Sandy devastated the tri-state region, hundreds—if not thousands—of pets were left stranded. Numerous animal rescue organizations, joined by dedicated volunteers, have been working around the clock to provide care and shelter to animals in need as well as to reunite guardians with their beloved pets.
The ASPCA in New York City and Long Island alone have sheltered more than 400 claimed animals in 40 evacuation centers. The ASPCA also has provided two transport trailers and three water rescue teams on standby.
Yesterday, the ASPCA responded to New York’s hardest hit area in the Rockaways. One on the families in the area, the Riveras, called the rescue organization for help after they were forced to evacuate to a shelter on Tuesday when their home was flooded with 15 feet of water, minutes after the superstorm hit.
Unfortunately, the family did not know they were able to bring their pets to the shelter and—given no choice but to swim their way out of their flooded home—left their one dog and three cats behind with four days worth of food and water, while hoping for the best.
Staff at the shelter informed the family that the ASPCA could reunite them with their beloved pets, and so they did. The organization discovered the three cats hiding throughout the house and their little dog, terrified and barking on the couch. They were soon brought to safety and reunited with the Rivera family at the shelter.
Watch the touching video of Leanne Rivera’s heartwarming reunion with her beloved pup Precious:
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is also taking in pets left behind after the storm and—with emergency hotlines in New York and New Jersey—attempting to reunite them with their guardians who were forced to flee the storm without them.
The Humane Society has two emergency shelters—one in Monmouth County, NJ, and one in Nassau County in Long Island—as well as responders in New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Delaware. A shelter in Ocean County, NJ is expected to start operating soon.
Meanwhile, the North Shore Animal League America reports that the organization is currently housing over 650 animals at their Port Washington, NY shelter, and another 100 animals in their Mobile Rescue Units at Mitchel Field.
In the last week, Global Animal Foundation has collected nearly $3,000 to distribute to the HSUS, ASPCA, Animal Care & Control of NYC, and North Shore Animal League America on behalf of readers who donated to animal rescue efforts in the tri-state region. Donations will be sent to help with medical expenses for injured animals, shelter, food and water, as well as associated costs to reunite lost pets with their guardians.
Animal Care & Control of NYC thanks everyone who has offered to help in the aftermath of the storm. Their team members in the field continue to reach out to animals in need, and are working tirelessly to care for the many animals at their centers located in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
However, with countless animals left unclaimed and in need of critical care, these disaster relief programs still need your help. Donate to help animals affected by Hurricane Sandy. Your contributions help save lives.
The HSUS’s Animal Rescue Team said in a statement, “In storm-torn areas of New York and New Jersey, our Animal Rescue Team is giving pets loving care.” See your donations being put to action in this video by the HSUS:
While all of New York City’s 76 evacuation shelters welcome pets, here are some pet-friendly evacuation shelters throughout other states hit by the superstorm.
For those with missing pets, do not give up hope and, if you haven’t already, consider these tips to help you find your beloved pet.