As the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast assess the devastating destruction of Hurricane Sandy, I hope that you are all safe and sound inside with your pets. The ASPCA is on the ground, ready to help animals trapped or in danger in the aftermath of the hurricane.
Yesterday I visited the ASPCA's Adoption Center in New York City to ensure our staff had everything they needed to care for the animals in our shelter. Our dedicated staffers are sleeping in cots at the shelter to make sure the animals are safe.
To help animals throughout the region, the ASPCA is setting up water rescue teams and a distribution center with PetSmart Charities in Syracuse, New York, where our sheltering supplies will be housed to assist local groups with supplies such as crates, food, food bowls, leashes and toys.
We encourage local animal shelters and rescue groups to contact us for help if you have financial needs as a result of caring for animals impacted by the hurricane. Our grants officers are ready to review all applications on an expedited basis. More information about our emergency and disaster grants can be found at: www.aspcapro.org/emergency-and-disaster-response-grants.php.
Please be safe, and remember, if your home is no longer safe for you, it is not safe for your pets.
Update, 10/31/12: As New York City and the surrounding region continue to struggle with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the ASPCA is offering assistance to families evacuated during the storm. Our responders are delivering supplies, crates and food to evacuation centers, where hundreds of animals are being housed, in the five boroughs.
For those evacuees who need to report pets left behind in the storm, please call the city’s 24-hour hotline at (347) 573-1561. This number has been set up specifically to check on missing pets. For reports of stray animals, please continue to call 311.
Stay tuned to our blog and Twitter account for the latest updates on the ASPCA’s hurricane rescue efforts.
Update, 10/30/12: As we begin to assess the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy, the ASPCA is on the ground to assist animal victims of the storm. Our staff and responders are hard at work providing relief to families affected by flooding and power outages.
Stay tuned to our blog and Twitter account for the latest updates on the ASPCA’s rescue efforts.
Update, 10/29/12: The ASPCA is preparing to assist thousands of animals in the region affected by Hurricane Sandy, and wants to remind all area residents to stay indoors until the hurricane passes and it is safe for both people and pets to be outside. The ASPCA is also ready to assist with water rescues as needed.
If you have been ordered to evacuate, please do not leave your pets behind. All evacuation centers in New York City are required to accept pets.
Please stay tuned to our Twitter accountand follow the hashtag #SandyPets for breaking information.
Breaking Update, 10/27/12: In anticipation of Hurricane Sandy’s landfall early Tuesday, the ASPCA wants to remind New York City residents that all evacuation shelters accept pets. Please take your animals with you if you need to evacuate.
Low-lying areas of the city that are most at risk for flooding and other damage are designated as “Zone A” and include: Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Far Rockaway and Broad Channel in Queens; South Beach; Midland Beach; low-lying areas on Staten Island; and Battery Park City in Manhattan.
Here are some ways you can prepare for a major storm:
Get a Rescue Alert Sticker for your home. By posting a sticker similar to the one found in the ASPCA Pet Safety Pack in an easy-to-see location, rescue workers will be alerted that there are pets in your home. You should include the number and types of pets present, as well as your veterinarian’s contact information.
Choose a safe haven. First, decide which room in your home will be the safest spot to ride out the storm. Then, know in advance where you can take your family and pets in case of evacuation. Check with evacuation centers and area hotels to find a pet-friendly location. In New York and New Jersey, all evacuation centers are required to accept animals.
IDs, please! Make sure your pet is wearing collars and ID tags with up-to-date identification. This is the perfect time to have your pet micro-chipped if you have not already done so.
Stock up. Make sure you have plenty of food—for humans and pets!—water, medications, batteries, first aid kits and other emergency supplies on hand in case of a power outage.
Stay indoors. At the first sign of danger, bring your pets indoors and keep them with you.
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.
Hooray for L.A.! Last night, the Los Angeles City Council voted 12 to 2 in favor of a proposed city ordinance to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores. If the Council upholds the vote next week, L.A. will become the largest city in the U.S. to pass this type of law!
The ordinance is designed to stem puppy mill abuse by making sure that dogs from puppy mills don’t find their way to pet stores in the city. There’s good news for homeless pets, too: The new law will allow pet stores to sell animals who come from shelters, humane societies, and registered rescue groups—just not from commercial breeders. It also still allows people to buy directly from breeders.
According to our No Pet Store Puppies map of stores that sell puppies, there are 18 stores in Los Angeles that will no longer be able to prop up the puppy mill industry once the ban takes effect.
Kudos to our good friends at Best Friends Animal Society for spearheading this incredible effort and helping to turn the tide for puppy mill dogs across the country! Please help us keep momentum moving in the right direction by taking our No Pet Store Puppies pledge today!
Update 11/19/12: Way to go, Los Angeles! On October 31, the L.A. City Council formally approved a new ordinance that bans retail sales of dogs, cats and rabbits. The ordinance will go into effect by the end of 2012, after which stores have a six month grace period to stop selling these animals. The ordinance will not affect responsible hobby breeders.
The Los Angeles Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon is finally here, and Team ASPCA will be there in full force! If you’re in the area, definitely come cheer us on. You’ll know us by our bright orange singlets and smiling faces.
The ASPCA loves our presenting sponsor, Subaru (it’s a major pet adoption advocate), and Subaru loves us right back. The folks at Subaru are showing it with some cool stuff at the race, including the Subaru XV Crosstrek RUFFest Lap at the Subaru Love a Pet tent—run a mini-lap and Subaru donates $1 to local animal welfare groups—and the post-race Team ASPCA Bark Park, featuring our favorite thing: pet adoptions.