The ASPCA is marking day two of water and land rescues in Ocean County, New Jersey, in one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. This afternoon, the ASPCA’s Dr. Dick Green and Bruce Earnest rescued four cats and their pet parent, a woman in her seventies, who lived in an evacuation zone.
The woman decided to stay in her home, rather than evacuate, because she didn’t want to leave her cats behind. Luckily, ASPCA responders were able to reach her, rescue the cats, and drive the woman to a friend’s house on higher ground.
The ASPCA is continuing to work closely with local officials and our partners in New Jersey and New York to respond to animal rescue requests. Our priority is to help reunite as many pet parents as possible with their animals.
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.”
On Tuesday, the ASPCA arrested Queens resident Crystal Lashley, 18, for allegedly neglecting her six-year-old German Shepherd mix, Briana.
ASPCA Agents found Briana tethered to a tree outside a home on August 21. She’d been neglected so long that her collar had become embedded in her neck, causing a deeply painful wound.
Lashley agreed to surrender her dog to the Agents, who took Briana straight to the ASPCA Animal Hospital for treatment and evaluation.
In addition to her neck wound, ASPCA veterinarians found Briana to be dehydrated, underweight and infested with fleas. Briana is continuing to receive treatment for these issues and is recovering at the hospital.
When she’s made a full recovery, this resilient dog will be available for adoption—we can’t wait for her to experience a real loving family.
Lashley was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, she faces up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
If you suspect you’ve witnessed animal cruelty, please report it. It saves lives like Briana’s.
Lacey, before and after receiving treatment at the ASPCA Animal Hospital
When ASPCA Special Agent Ann Kelly brought hound mix puppies Cagney and Lacey to the ASPCA Animal Hospital on February 17, the two were so skinny that their bones were visible from across the room.
The dogs’ owner, Gillian Irving, relinquished them to the ASPCA after Agent Kelly visited her home in the Norwood section of the Bronx. In April, Agent Kelly arrested Irving, who was charged with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. (If convicted, Irving faces up to two years in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.)
Meanwhile, under the care of our veterinary professionals, the frightened dogs put on weight quickly: Cagney went from 16.4 to 27.1 pounds, and Lacey from 15.2 to 26.9, in the months leading up to Irving’s arrest.
As these shy puppies gained weight, they also made new friends among ASPCA staff and learned that new people weren’t so scary after all. At first, the dogs “would cower to the ground when they were removed from their kennels,” recalls ASPCA Senior Behavior and Training Manager Victoria Wells. “Once the vets gave the medical okay, they were paired up with each other and more confident dogs for play sessions and walks to expose them to new people and places. They slowly began to overcome their fear.”
They even made a special friend in Kim Danley, a licensed veterinary technician. When the dogs were ready to move to foster homes, Danley brought Lacey to the home she shared with her Rottweiler and ASPCA-alumnus cat, while Cagney went to another foster home.
As Danley invested lots of time in teaching Lacey that new people and places were exciting, not scary, Lacey became an irreplaceable member of the family. When Lacey was made available for adoption, Danley decided to make it official. She filled out the paperwork and renamed her Frankie.
Since then, the Danley family has moved to California, where Frankie loves running on the beach, sunbathing on her deck and taking boat rides. Danley reports that “now she’s the happiest dog in the world. She and Charlie sleep curled up with each other every night. She’s not afraid of a thing.”