The Things We Do for Love: Keeping Animals Safe and Comfortable After Hurricane Sandy

Photo courtesy of Animal Haven
One tiny reason why the staff at Animal Haven worked so hard in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, will share the stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.

Tiffany Lacey, the executive director of Animal Haven in New York City, knew the shelter would be impacted as Hurricane Sandy approached the city on October 29. She just didn’t know the lengths she and her staff would go to in order to keep their pets safe and comfortable after the storm.

“I thought we’d be affected by flooding,” says Lacey. So before the storm hit, she and her team moved the 30 dogs in their care from the basement to the upper floors of their building.

But it was a five-day power outage and not flooding that crippled their operations. When a generator blew the night of the storm, it left Animal Haven’s Soho neighborhood in pitch darkness.

“It was shockingly dark; there aren’t a lot of windows, so even in the middle of the day it was very dark,” says Lacey. The staff used headlamps and flashlights to care for their 60 dogs and cats.

Taxed Employees

Photo courtesy of Animal Haven
A group shot of the courageous crew.

As the days went on without electricity, the pets — and the staff — became more stressed out. “We were just making due,” Lacey says.

Animal Haven relies on volunteers to handle many daily duties at the shelter, but Lacey had to call off volunteers that week. “It was just too dangerous to have them there,” she says. So the shelter’s 13 exhausted employees managed the heavy workload of cleaning the cages and feeding and exercising the pets.


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