By Denise LeBeau
As the rescues and shelters of the East Coast fully assess their losses in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Network is offering micro-grants to our partners and other organizations to ensure that they are fully stocked on the supplies they need now. The staff is processing grants around the clock to address all the urgent requests as quickly as possible.
“Many rescues and shelters have suffered so much already; we are making the grant application a breeze. We know our supporters want us to help the most at-risk animals affected by the devastation, and through our micro-grants and our volunteer donation drives, we are doing just that,” says Liz Finch, senior manager of Community Programs and Services.
The road to recovery
One of the first grants to be processed was for Road Runner Rescue in Upper Fairmount, Maryland. Since 2005, the organization has saved over 5,000 pets from high-kill shelters from their state and the Virginia Eastern Shore. Hurricane Sandy wiped out their medical supplies.
“I was at the No More Homeless Pets Conference when the storm hit,” shares Sue Nevins, founder of the group. “Upon my return, I was mortified that the three-day power loss resulted in our refrigerator getting so hot that all our vaccines and SNAP tests were destroyed. The supplies we lost were not just for our animals, but we also share them with our local county facilities. There are a lot of homeless pets depending on us.”
Road Runner Rescue also helps facilitate the transport of cats and dogs out of the municipal shelters and into rescues that can adopt them out. The vaccines are critical to making that happen. Their micro-grant will enable them to not miss a step in their lifesaving endeavors.
“When I got back, I thought, ‘How am I going to be able to cover this?’ Our budget is already very tight; we recently had a costly cat surgery that was stretching our funds. Thank you, Best Friends, for supporting us in our time of need. We’re all in this together, and it’s wonderful to be part of a great effort to save more lives,” says Sue.
Room for Hannah and her friends
The Little Guild of St. Francis in West Cornwall, Connecticut, went above and beyond to help animals in need at a West Virginia shelter. The organization in the south needed to place the animals right away. The Little Guild took 88, including seven senior dogs with medical issues, a three-legged cat with skin issues and positive for FIV, and 28 puppies!
“We had room and I knew we would get volunteers – there was no reason not to help,” says Denise Cohn, executive director of organization. “Now we didn’t have immediate room for 65 dogs and 23 cats, but we figured with foster volunteers and networking with other rescues that we could make it work. My feeling is that an animal in need is an animal in need – it doesn’t matter where they come from or where they are located – let’s help.”
Linda Gage, No More Homeless Pets Network specialist, reached out soon after to start the wheels in motion to get them assistance.
“It was very easy to apply for the grant, which was so nice. Many grant applications are so time-consuming that they simply don’t get done,” shares Denise.
Of the rescued animals from the south, one dog touched her heart completely. Sweet Hannah is a senior black Chow mix who has never lived inside. Her years of neglect are apparent in her filthy and matted coat.
Hannah was by Denise’s side as they road in the back of a box truck transporting the animals northward towards safety. All the dogs were warm with their quilts and blankets surrounding each carrier. Every time Denise sat down, Hannah would put her paws on her shoulder and give her a hug, which reaffirmed for Denise why she does as much as she can to help.
“The first time Hanna ‘hugged’ me and fell asleep in my arms, I was surely going to cry. I am certain she had never been loved back before, and she has so much to give.”
Their No More Homeless Pets Network micro-grant will go towards getting many of the homeless pets spayed and neutered before they go to their new loving forever homes.
Best Friends will continue to distribute supplies and funding to all the groups that are facing extra hardships after this tragic disaster. We are committed to standing by the heroic organizations that were not only facing a crisis themselves but rose to the occasion to help the other rescues, individuals and countless animals in need. Together we will achieve a time of No More Homeless Pets.
Apply for assistance
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.
How you can help
You can also donate directly to the Best Friends Emergency Relief Fund.
In-kind donations can also be dropped off and/or mailed to:
One Potata Productions
80 East 11 Street
New York, NY 10003
Midtown donations can be dropped off 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. at:
530 West 43rd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues)
New York, New York
Call Muji at 646-206-7465 and to meet someone in the lobby.
Photos by Best Friends staff and courtesy of Little Guild of St. Francis