Since Hurricane Sandy unleashed her wrath, rescues and shelters struggle to cope with power outages, escaped animals, a roof collapse, lost vet supplies, an influx of lost animals and much, much more. Join Petfinder.com in offering assistance to organizations in need. For those storm victims who lost so much, recovering their pets helps the healing begin. Here are meaningful ways you can make a difference to organizations doing the work on the ground.
- Read Petfinder’s blog daily for the latest animal organization needs.
- Alert affected Petfinder organizations to apply for disaster grants.
- Call your local rescue and ask what you can do.
- See an additional resource list below.
- Share this post!
Why It Matters
THE SPAN OF NEED IS ENORMOUS
Sandy looms large in the heart of Petfinder staff. New Jersey is where Petfinder began 16 years ago, many staff members still reside there, and some of the very first shelters to ever join Petfinder are storm damaged and still remain without power. The Petfinder Foundation and IFAW response vehicle headed east to provide relief efforts and the outreach team is in New York and New Jersey, determining needs and coordinating to help fill those needs. Their concern also lies in Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland where heavy snowfall has caused falling branches, an overburdened roof, and travel safety issues for staff, volunteers, and visitors caring for homeless pets.
While animals in America’s Mid-Atlantic and New England states are receiving the greatest focus right now, keep in mind that Sandy’s impact stretched from Greater Antilles to the Bahamas, Bermuda, and all the way to eastern Canada. All of these areas continue to need your help.
WHAT A RESCUE WITHOUT POWER LOOKS LIKE
Here’s how Animal Haven, left without electricity for 5+ days at 251 Center Street in Manhattan, put the needs of the animals first. As of Friday, Animal Haven was still requesting linens, towels, flashlights, lanterns, batteries for flashlights, paper towels, bleach and rubber gloves. This is just one example of the challenges in a vast sea of many.
Regardless of your location, Susan from Petfinder’s Outreach Team asks that you:
Contact your local shelters and rescue groups to see if they need volunteers or donations. Even shelters that had no damage but had power failures may have lost vital medical supplies that must be replaced. Shelters who safely evacuated and then returned to damage-free shelters nonetheless may have incurred high costs while safely shifting pets.
MORE WEATHER ON THE WAY
Global Forecast Center meteorologists are currently monitoring another storm system that will likely effect the Northeast from Wednesday through Friday. Strong winds could exceed 55 mph along the coast while high surf causes additional erosion. Moderate rainfall will soak already saturated areas, and significant snowfall could extend from the Poconos through the Catskills into Interior New England and Upstate New York, adding tension to power lines and blocking roads. In last week’s weather-torn areas, this will surely deal a significant blow to recovery efforts.
KEEP THE HELP FLOWING IN
Petfinder recommends some simple yet vastly important ways to help:
- Rescue groups who handle large animals might appreciate your help walking their fence line, making sure enclosures are still secure. If you take on this responsibility, avoid walking under trees that may be weakened, especially if the wind is still blowing.
- You can help shelters clear snow and ice. Even if the basic work has been done, there is always help needed to clean up around trash receptacles, etc. Ice melter that is safe for pets is a great donation.
- If the power is down, offer to take laundry to a working commercial laundry service or to your own home to wash. Ask the shelter for their laundry protocol. They may need you to use bleach or other disinfectants.
- Clean used towels and linens are always appreciated — even when skies are blue! If you are delivering large blankets, bring along a pair of good scissors, in case the blankets would be of more use to the shelter in smaller pieces.
We can’t recommend enough the power of Petfinder’s daily blog updates. Please, find a way to help rescue pets locally. These animals are part of your community … and your community needs you.
- Hurricane Sandy Pet Rescue Hotlines:
The HSUS is helping to staff two hotlines for those in New York and New Jersey who fled the storm without taking their pets.
New York City hotline: 347-573-1561
New Jersey hotline: 1-855-407-HSUS
- ASPCA Grants: For local animal shelters and rescue groups with financial needs as a result of caring for animals impacted by the hurricane. Grants officers are ready to review all applications on an expedited basis.
- Helping Lost Pets is a free, map-based National Lost/Found Pet Registry
- Lost Petz App (via American Humane). Pet owners can post lost pet details to connected people in their neighborhood.
- Lost and Found Parrots Birds: a bird reporting and alerting register
- Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets” on Facebook. Submit and share photos of missing and found pets.
- Visit Craigslist to do the same.
- Follow #SandyPets hashtag on Twitter