They’re calling Hurricane Sandy the perfect storm. It is set to hit the Eastern seaboard of the United States today. The president has already declared a state of emergency in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia, and severe, potentially unprecedented flooding is anticipated.
This storm is predicted to affect up to 60 million people, but what about pets?
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urges evacuees to not leave their pets at home, but instead bring them to the shelters.
“Take your animals with you,” says Jamie Lyn Rubin, Best Friends’ New York City programs manager. “All of the New York City evacuation shelters are accepting animals.”
The message seems to be getting out. It’s been reported that over 70 animals are already housed at New York City evacuation shelters with their families.
Be prepared, though. When evacuating, make sure to bring identification, adequate food and water, any medications, collars and leashes, litter pans, and any other necessary pet supplies with you. For disaster preparedness resources on how to keep pets safe and a complete list of items to bring when evacuating, click here.
Stepping up to help
Best Friends New York City programs staff have been busy posting FEMA evacuation tips and working with local shelters and rescues since last Friday. Needs are constantly being updated on the Best Friends New York City programs Facebook page.
Groups outside the area are stepping up to temporarily house animals from shelters and rescues located in evacuation areas.
Jamie recommends that animal welfare organizations set up chip-in pages, so that anyone can donate money to help cover expenses.
Husky House, one of Best Friends’ No More Homeless Pets Network partners in Bridgewater, New Jersey, had their generator break down on Friday. The repair shop could not fix it in time, so they posted a chip-in page Friday night. By Saturday, they were notified that their $800 goal had been reached and a generator was purchased.
“So far it’s been outstanding how everyone is helping out and quick to respond,” says Jamie.
To help and for assistance
To help, you can donate directly to the Best Friends Emergency Relief Fund.
If you are a rescue group in need after Hurricane Sandy, click here for information on applying for a No More Homeless Pets Network micro-grant.