Ocean County, New Jersey, was particularly devastated by the affects of Hurricane Sandy, and the ASPCA is on the ground there conducting water and land rescues for animal displaced or lost during the storm.
At the request of the Ocean County Health Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department in Toms River, New Jersey, ASPCA responders arrived on the ground late Thursday to work with local officials to assess the situation and establish a system to reunite pet parents with their animals.
On Friday, an eight-person team responded to more than 30 animal rescue requests, retrieving displaced pets and reuniting them with their owners.
“Many people have lost their homes due to the storm, and our goal is to alleviate some of the stress for pet owners by reuniting them with their animals,” says Dr. Dick Green, Director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team.
These efforts are a true collaborative effort with other responders from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Animal Rescue League of Boston, as well as the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Toms River Animal Control.
Right now in New York City, thousands of people are waiting in lines, some that stretch for blocks. They’re waiting for the basic necessities: food, water, toilet paper and, yes, pet food.
Victims of Sandy have been through so much, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped caring about their pets. For some NYC residents, their pets may be all they have left.
So as early as we could, the ASPCA began visiting some of the hardest hit areas with desperately needed pet supplies like dog food, cat food and cat litter. At each location, we’ve barely opened up our trucks before they are emptied by pet parents in need.
As our responders handed out supplies to everyone we could this afternoon, an 11- or 12-year-old boy stopped to thank us.
“Thank you so much,” he said. “I have a dog at home, and he’s hungry.”
Even as their region was devastated by Superstorm Sandy, a New Jersey couple found time to step up for an animal in need.
After spending days inside waiting out the storm without electricity, Gloria Delgado and Wilfredo Garcia took their dog for a walk Tuesday to survey the damage to their Elizabeth neighborhood.
A few blocks from their home, they saw something strange: a little white car idling at the edge of a park. The couple heard a yelp and a car door slam, and then watched as the car sped away.
To their horror, Delgado and Garcia realized a Hound/Pit Bull mix puppy, white with brown spots and about five months old, had been pitched out of the car, left to fend for herself among the downed trees and debris. Delgado called to the confused puppy, and she came right away.
Delgado and Garcia waited for 20 minutes—perhaps, they thought, she fell out of the car? But the car never returned, so they took the puppy home to their dark apartment.
“She was so nice,” Delgado says. “So good and playful with our kids and our dog.”
The puppy stayed the night, but the Garcia family knew they couldn’t keep her forever. Delgado cleans houses in Manhattan, and she decided to bring us the puppy when she returned to work. On Wednesday, the entire Garcia family braved hours of traffic to ensure the dog reached us safely.
“I lived in Manhattan a long time ago, so I know how the ASPCA takes care of animals,” Garcia says. “I knew they would take care of this dog.”
We are so grateful that the Garcia family took care of this sweet and happy little puppy, who is receiving care at our Adoption Center and will be made available for adoption soon. Of course, we named her Sandy.
For more information about the ASPCA’s rescue and relief efforts during Sandy, please stay tuned to our blog and Twitter account.