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Saving Lives: Is Your City’s Evacuation Center Pet-Friendly?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 11:30am

This past weekend NYC raised the bar on disaster relief—the city made sure all human evacuation centers accepted pets, too. And because of this vital protocol, lives were saved.

Rosalie Yandoli lives in a small bungalow one block away from Rockaway Beach. On Friday afternoon, NYPD officers came to her door, informing her that evacuation was mandatory.

“I told them I wasn’t going anywhere without my cat, Brandy,” says Rosalie. “It’s just me and her in this world. We’ve been together for 14 years, and I was staying put.”

The officers immediately reassured Rosalie that all evacuation centers were pet-friendly; Brandy could come, too. She quickly packed a bag, and with Brandy in tow was escorted to the John Adams Evacuation Center.

“I was scared. I didn’t know what to expect,” Rosalie admits. “But when I arrived I was immediately welcomed. They had everything Brandy needed and they even gave her a private room because of her advanced age—it was more than I could have hoped for.”

Rosalie’s apartment was completely destroyed by Hurricane Irene. “There’s nothing left—my bungalow was completely flooded…we never would have made it out if we had stayed.”

The ASPCA sincerely thanks the City of New York for making this life-saving protocol mandatory, and we strongly urge other states follow its example.

Take Action
Contact your local government officials and ask for a list of pet-friendly evacuation shelters in your area. If there are none, kindly ask them to consider the needs of both pets and people during a disaster.

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Rosalie Yandoli

It's hrs. before 2015 now. I accidently saw this article. Unfortunately in H. Sandy things didn't go so well... I was on oxygen, in bed when noticing the refrigerator floating on it's side thru the Living Room. ( having to pass thru 2 rooms to get there! ). Couch, chairs also in mid-air. Surreal! I then felt ice cold water covering my body. Recovering from a coma, I was practically paralyzed. The heavy meds., had me dazed & confused. With no idea what was occurring..The TV showed my block, yet not. Cars covered w-water & soldiers in boats. Brandy screamed, always terrified of even the vestige of water left on my hands, if not completely dry.. My brain was thrown into highest gear. I had using wits, lived thru kidnapping by serial killers. Several rapes. Countless situations which a single one in a person's lifetime would be incredible & considered a miracle if survived!! I jumped up. Strengthened by Brandy's terror & the survival instinct inherent in us all! Screaming for help, in the dark..A calm, yet frantic urge to fight. Warring feelings gave power to my voice..." I AM going to die, u Have to help me...Tell those ppl w-lights!!!" A disembodied voice yelled back"Shut-up & Die already!"Bars on the windows, blocked escape. I could see floodlights passing, in boats. Holding Brandy, then 15 & treading water, w-inches of air left. My head was touching the ceiling. I gave her "Mouth to mouth" & her lungs exploded. w-animals, it's "snout", I later learned .. *** I have Never spoken of this to date.. I woke from another dream of Brandy & sat at the computer in the dark. I am writing to myself. I planned on one day writing the story. It's extraordinary! This is not the time.. Nor place. I am leaving this piece here. The "Good Parts" yet unwritten!! I will return & finish, now that I know this is here. It will then be 2016. Happy New Year My Dearest Brandy Brown!!! I Love You. ...I am SO sorry that you went in the cold, dark water, the most horrible way possible..I tried.