Shelters and Rescues Struggle to Recover After Hurricane Sandy

Sean Casey Animal Rescue, Brooklyn, N.Y.

How They Weathered the Storm: "[Hurricane Sandy] turned the shelter upside down. We've had at least 100 new dogs since Sandy, and we're full to the gills with more dogs in need than we have the capacity to help," says Theresa LaBianca, director of administration, according to information from Merrick Pet Care.

Current Status: The shelter is very short on supplies and had extensive damage to its building. Staffing has been a huge issue because its employees have to spend time repairing their own homes. With so many dogs in the shelter, they've had to have staff members sleep overnight in the facility. Adoption rates have lowered because people don't have the time or resources to adopt. This has created a backlog of dogs who would normally be adopted in addition to those displaced by the storm.

How You Can Help: Some people want to specifically adopt "Hurricane Sandy dogs." "This is appreciated, but people need to remember that there are many, many more dogs that weren't displaced by Sandy that still need homes," LaBianca says. The shelter also needs volunteers. You can find more information here.

Maxwell was found the day after the hurricane, separated from his mom. He's headed to a permanent home this month.
Staten Island Hope Animal Rescue
Maxwell was cared for with donations.

Staten Island Hope Animal Rescue, N.Y.

How They Weathered the Storm: The cat rescue, which has about 120 cats in foster homes and coordinates adoptions out of a local Petco store, worked to help many people rescue their scared cats, who in many cases were trapped in damaged homes or ran outside during the storm. “I would say the most valuable lesson I learned was the compassion and dedication people have regarding assisting animals during this crisis,” says president Michelle Christofilakes. Maxwell, the kitten pictured to the right, was found separated from his mom the day after the storm and is headed to a permanent home this month.

Current Status: The group needs donations to cover veterinary care.

How You Can Help: They could use foster help or donations toward veterinarian care for animals they rescued during the storm. You can find more information here.

Bideawee, N.Y.

How They Weathered the Storm: Bideawee has several locations. Its Manhattan facility, which has been located on the edge of the East River for more than 100 years, was swamped with water during the storm surge. It had heavy water damage, and the elevator that’s used to move animals from the adoption center to the animal hospital was destroyed. This forced the facility to close for 20 days. The 70 animal residents were moved to Bideawee’s facility in Wantagh, N.Y., which is located in Nassau County and was also impacted by the storm. That facility was without power for 23 days. It operated with a generator for the first 11 days, but when that failed, its dedicated staff turned to flashlights and extra blankets for the animals. Bideawee’s Westhampton facility also lost power for a few days and had wind damage to its roof.

Current Status: It will take hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair the group’s facilities and recover the costs of lost business while its animal hospital was closed.

How You Can Help: The group can use volunteers and donations. You can find more information here.

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