Many who lost their homes to Sandy have told us that they don’t want to give up their pets, but that they have nowhere to keep them. In response, today the ASPCA is opening a 20,000 square-foot emergency boarding facility for hundreds of animals displaced by Superstorm Sandy.
Located in central Brooklyn, this emergency boarding service is offered to those who need a place to house their animals until they can get back on their feet. It will also provide shelter for pets of those in evacuation centers, as well as pets whose families are already boarding them at Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Brooklyn.
This effort is greatly aided by a $500,000 grant from generous animal lover Rachael Ray, as well as the donations of our compassionate supporters.
The ASPCA is operating this facility in collaboration with Animal Care & Control of NYC, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Veterinary Response Team, and the NYC Veterinary Emergency Response Team.
“We will continue our disaster relief work to help animal victims in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and hope that the emergency boarding facility will allow pet parents to focus on rebuilding their lives,” says ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Senior Director Tim Rickey. “It will take time, but we will work as a community, and the ASPCA will continue to provide ongoing assistance, personnel and resources as long as we’re needed.”
If you or someone you know was affected by Sandy and needs to temporarily house an animal at our facility, please see the details below.
Where: Pet parents in need can bring their animals directly to the emergency boarding facility, located at 1508 Herkimer Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11233, as early as today. Map
When: Starting today, the facility will be open seven days a week from 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., and will remain open for 30 days.
Standard of care: Veterinarians and specially trained staff will care for these pets and keep them healthy and happy, and pet parents will be welcome to visit.
What to bring: Pet parents are encouraged to bring the following, along with their pets, to the emergency boarding facility: one government-issued photo ID (i.e., driver’s license, passport, military ID, or non-driver ID) and a proof of address (i.e. utility bill, driver’s license). If possible, we encourage people to put ID tags on their pets and bring a carrier or crate, vaccination records, and medications or supplies for pets with special needs.
Ninja has come a long way. This sweet dog was one of 50 rescued by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement agents last summer from a dog fighting ring in the Bronx. Ninja suffered in terrible conditions in the dingy, dark basement of an apartment building, rarely seeing the light of day. When we rescued her, she was extremely underweight and suffered from infections to her skin and paw. We got to her just in time, transporting her to a temporary facility to begin her recovery.
Now Ninja is healthy and thriving with her adoptive pet parent, Samara Lynn, in Midtown Manhattan.
“I wanted a dog for some time,” Samara says. “I went to the ASPCA a few times and finally when I saw Ninja and her size and temperament, I knew she was perfect. I waited about two weeks to think about it. I finally thought, someone must have adopted her already, but when I went back, she was still available. We picked each other.”
Staff at the Adoption Center warned Samara that Ninja might be a bit skittish with all the traffic and noise of New York City. But over time, she has adjusted.
“We live in Midtown Manhattan and she loves walking and jogging with either me or my boyfriend,” Samara says. “She also really enjoys meeting all the new people and dogs out for walks.”
She is also a fast learner. After just a month, Samara taught Ninja to walk on a leash, heel, sit, stay, give paw and other tricks.
“She is very smart, sensitive, and very aware and is the only dog I have ever had that pays acute attention when another dog is on television,” Samara says.
We’re thrilled that this special and talented dog has a second chance at life in such a loving home.
As more Sandy victims are able to move out of New York evacuation shelters, the city is consolidating its housing for families displaced by the storm. That means people—and their pets—must relocate.
An evacuation shelter in Queens was closed this weekend, and its remaining residents and their 51 animals needed to head to another shelter in the Bronx. When the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC requested our help moving these animals, we jumped at the chance.
On Saturday, our responders helped move cats, dogs, birds, turtles (named Ike and Tina) and puppies to their new temporary home in the Bronx.
Keeping families together is what the ASPCA’s response to Sandy is all about, and we are thrilled to have been able to help people stay with their pets at a time when some have lost everything else.
One man at the evacuation shelter told us Sandy had destroyed his home and belongings, but that he still felt blessed because he had his two dogs with him.
“Everything else can be replaced, but I can’t replace my dogs,” he said.
Our response to Sandy is ongoing as affected communities remain devastated. For updates on our work, please check the ASPCA blog and follow the ASPCA on Twitter.
For the thousands of families without power, running water or even homes a week and a half after Superstorm Sandy, the ASPCA can’t unload our pet supply trucks fast enough. Everywhere our trucks stop, we are met by a crowd of needy pet parents who eagerly snap up the supplies before we can pull away to the next distribution point.
Pets are all many families have left, and they are eager to take good care of them in spite of all they’ve lost. To date, we have distributed thousands of pounds of pet food and cat litter to areas of extreme need, and we are ramping up this effort and fielding more requests every day.
If you live far from the affected area, please don’t look away from this catastrophe now. Animals and their pet parents need our help desperately, and we’re working around the clock to meet their needs. To date, we have helped nearly 6,000 animals, and we don’t expect this operation to wind down any time soon.
If you would like to contribute to our disaster relief fund, you can make a gift here. Every cent will go to ASPCA disaster relief efforts.
The Cruelty Intervention Advocacy (CIA) program works in conjunction with Humane Law Enforcement to intervene in cases involving animals that are not victims of cruelty but may be at risk of becoming victims without intervention. To date, CIA has intervened in over 80 animal hoarding cases in New York City’s five boroughs. CIA’s Colleen Doherty told us about her work during Sandy.
When Hurricane Sandy hit NYC, I knew I had to get out to cases in impacted areas as quickly as possible to check on the condition of the animals. I responded to 11 cases in two days with a Humane Law Enforcement Agent and veterinarian, providing wellness checks to animals and critical supplies such as pet food and litter.
One case in particular in Coney Island, an area heavily impacted by Sandy, involves a family with 50 cats. Just before Sandy hit, the CIA team was coordinating a rescue operation to remove these cats and place them for adoption as soon as they were rehabilitated. Sandy interrupted this effort, and after the storm, I was not able to get in touch with the family because the cell service and power was out. I headed there right away to check on them.
Luckily they didn’t sustain major flooding. They were in need of some supplies as lots of local stores were closed or flooded, so we provided them with all the essentials.
It is an unbelievable feeling to be a lifeline to so many animals in my community. Being able to have a hands-on approach, seeing the condition of animals, pet parents and homes, and to see a case to completion, is an amazing privilege that I feel very lucky to have.