Hurricane Sandy. Super storm Sandy has left chaos, flooding, power outages and devastation after it slammed the North East, Mid Atlantic and Great Lakes regions. The workers, volunteers, the Red Cross and many more rescue organizations including the ASPCA, continue to work tirelessly around the clock to save lives and clean up the devastation left by Sandy’s path. In addition, many animal rescuers are working diligently to free animals left stranded and reunite others such as owners who got separated from their pets during Sandy’s furry. The human death toll numbers are near 100. As far as pet lives lost, it’s too soon to tell.
Shelters, churches and even mass transit systems have opened their doors and hearts to stranded people and pets, many of which remain overcrowded and beyond maximum capacity. New York City and Long Island Shelters took in over 400 pets.
In New York, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) helped insure that all emergency human shelters take in pets as well. Those guidelines also applied to mass transit systems and together proved to be quite helpful in helping individuals and families adhere to mandatory evacuation notices.
When forced to evacuate, most pet owners were encouraged to take Fido and Fluffy with them. Some did, others weren’t so lucky and became separated during the chaos.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), offered guidelines for pet owners and noting that homes unsuitable for people aren’t safe for pets either. They offered tips and encouraged people to check with their local shelters to see if pets were allowed.
In addition, other common sense storm tips included bringing pets inside, being sure pets have collars with up to date ID tags, keeping stocked emergency kits handy and arranging a safe haven for pets in the event of an evacuation.
Certain families separated from their pets during evacuation measures were later very fortunately reunited. Other people like Katherine N. while volunteering at her local New York Animal Shelter fell in love with a couple of newly rescued critters and adopted them both naming one Sandy in honor of the occasion. It’s just too soon to estimate all the losses and tally up tolls but as workers continue to scour the East coast, slowly and surely, we will rebuild and we will all reunite.