National Animal Shelter Check-In Day and more on Sandy relief work

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Tomorrow, Saturday, November 10, is the second annual National Animal Shelter Check-In Day. Shelter Check-In Day is something that Best Friends inaugurated last November as a way for the animal-loving public to leverage the power of social media to help shelter animals immediately. Social media has become a major adoption driver for rescues and fosters for several years now, but the potential for the average person to bring attention to their local shelter and to highlight individual animals is just beginning to be tapped.

Here’s how you can take part: On November 10, visit your local animal shelter and use your mobile phone to check in via Foursquare or Facebook. You can help the animals in a variety of ways: visit the pets and give them some stress-relieving attention; take a photo of a dog or cat and share online, and send to friends to pass along; sign up to volunteer at the shelter; or perhaps walk a dog or brush a cat. You’ll be helping to showcase the great variety of animals available for adoption and drive traffic into your local shelter. And best of all, you may just fall in love and take home a new best friend.

Our goal is to support animal shelters by encouraging people in their communities to take action for homeless pets in a fun, collaborative, easy way. The result? Increased awareness about local shelters and more pet adoptions.

So, be there or be forever square. (Sorry — bad pun that dates me, but couldn’t resist.)

Sandy news

Speaking of shelter check-ins, Best Friends’ New York staff and volunteers are having a pet supply drop-off and distribution event, also tomorrow: Saturday, November 10. The pet supplies collected will be distributed to area shelters and rescues impacted by the storm. Supplies in most demand are food, treats, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, crates, toys and rawhide chews.

The drop-off location and time is 80 E. 11th Street in Manhattan, from 10 am to 4 pm. Supplies can be dropped off any day (not just tomorrow) at this address, as well as at 560 W. 43rd Street, Apartment 27 E., in Manhattan.

For supply drop-off locations in New Jersey, please email our coordinating volunteer at Items needed include food, rawhide chews, pee pads, leashes and collars.

For some shelter animals, a shipment of dog sweaters from Best Friends will be arriving just in time, as East Coast temperatures are plunging and some places are still without heat and other essential services.

Among the shelters and rescues that will be receiving supplies are:

• Sussex County Shelter in New Jersey, which houses approximately 250 evacuees and their animals displaced by the storm.
• Animal Anarchy on Staten Island, whose entire community was flooded, putting many of their foster homes under water with supplies lost.
• Town of Hempstead Shelter on Long Island, where heat and electricity are still out. The shelter has also been providing food and supplies to the community, which was pretty much flooded out, and they need to re-supply for both the shelter animals and for community support. They will also be getting dog sweaters, blankets, cat litter and food.
• Little Shelter on Long Island, whose dog area was completely destroyed and whose cat area has a fallen tree in it. We will be providing a load of cat litter immediately and are looking to support their cleanup and rebuilding efforts.
• Husky House in Matawan, New Jersey, whose play yard was demolished.

Many of you have generously contributed to the emergency response fund. To date, $25,000 has been committed to rescues and shelters, including $5,000 to Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter in Maryland, to help defray the cost of evacuation and lost supplies, and $10,000 to Little Guild of St. Francis, which took in 40 dogs from a shelter in West Virginia when its roof collapsed as Sandy rains became mixed with wet snow.

Shelters and rescues that have incurred unexpected costs as a result of direct damage from Sandy, or because they rose to the occasion to take displaced animals, can apply for a grant from the Best Friends Emergency Relief Fund.  If you would like to donate to this ongoing effort, please click here.  Thank you for your support.

Julie Castle


Best Friends Animal Society