As soon as we heard that 32 horses were living without adequate food or shelter due to Tropical Storm Irene, our team stepped in to help. The ASPCA, in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States, just gave $5,000 in financial support to Rivers Edge Horse Rescue and Sanctuary in Newton, New Jersey.
In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, residual flooding of nearby marshes and streams of the Delaware River severely impacted the East Coast equine sanctuary. The barn and adjoining paddocks were left unusable, with much of the fencing washed away. The horses, who had to be moved through three feet of water to get to higher ground, were left without proper shelter.
“I would like to thank so many people for their help during this difficult time, especially HSUS and the ASPCA, for the financial assistance they have provided for our horses,” says Diane Romano-Potacki, founder of Rivers Edge Horse Rescue and Sanctuary.
For more information on keeping yourself and your pets safe in the event of an emergency, please read our list of Disaster Readiness tips.
With kids across the country going back to school this month, you may see a few (not-so-welcome) behavior changes in your pets. But, really, who can blame them? They miss you. With the house back to being empty all day, our companions are forced to find new ways to entertain themselves—like excessive barking or meowing, chewing on shoes, raiding the garbage and scratching furniture. What to do? These top treats will help lessen their anxiety and occupy their time till the kids get home!
After a state of emergency was declared in the area, the ASPCA deployed to Schoharie County, New York, to assist with the emergency rescue and sheltering of animals stranded by severe flooding. Small towns are engulfed by water, and roads and bridges have been closed across the county.
“We’re providing emergency water rescues for pets trapped inside flooded homes,” says Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response. “People can’t get home; the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene is just devastating.”
Rescued animals will be taken to the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley where they will be triaged and housed until they can be reunited with their families. PetSmart Charities has supplied much-needed provisions such as crates, blankets and bowls.
“We’re committed to helping families and pets impacted by Tropical Storm Irene,” says Rickey. “We’ll be here for as long as they need us.”
Schoharie County residents looking to rescue or shelter their pets or wishing to report lost pets should contact Animal Services at the Schoharie County Emergency Operations Center at (518) 231-2718.
Stay tuned to ASPCA.org for more on this breaking story.
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.
Guest Blog by Michelle Villagomez, ASPCA NYC Legislative Director.
We have some exciting news! After months of talking with representatives from the New York City government, the City has agreed to support legislation to improve conditions in our city’s shelters. A bill has been introduced in the City Council that would not only restore programs and services to our animal shelters, but increase funding for our animal care and control programs. The City has already agreed to raise funding so that by July 2014 the annual budget for Animal Care & Control will exceed $12 million—a 77 percent increase over the current budget!
Intro. 655, sponsored by Councilmember Jessica Lappin, would improve New York City’s animal shelter system by:
Requiring animal receiving centers in the Bronx and Queens, as well as field services, to operate seven days a week, 12 hours per day. (Currently the receiving centers are only open one and two days, and the field services program has been cut);
Ensuring the maintenance of full-service animal shelters in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island;
Requiring owners to spay or neuter any cats they own who are free-roaming outdoors;
Implementing trap-neuter-return (TNR) rules; and
Requiring the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to provide a report providing key data on trends on the progress and quality of care at each full-service animal shelter and animal receiving center.
This legislation, in conjunction with the increase in funding over the next few years, will allow the shelters hire as many as 100 additional staffers. If you’re a New Yorker, visit aspca.org/NYC_ACC to see how you can help make this happen!