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As Hurricane Irene Swept Through the Area, NSALA Remained Open and Provided Emergency Assistance to Long Island Pet Families Who Needed Shelter

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Adoption Center is Open and Many Wonderful Dogs, Cats, Puppies, and Kittens Are Looking for Permanent Homes

Port Washington, NY, August 30, 2011 – As Hurricane Irene headed through the tri-state area, North Shore Animal League America (NSALA) - the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization – worked around the clock to provide emergency rescue services to several Long Island shelters to ensure the safety of as many dogs and cats as possible.  Despite lingering power and phone outages in the Port Washington, NY area, the Animal League’s Adoption Center remains open and many beautiful and healthy animals are available for adoption.  The Pet Health Center also remains open for appointments.  The hours of operation for both facilities are Sunday – Wednesday from 10:00am – 9:00pm and Thursday – Saturday from 10:00am – 10:00pm.

Prior to the storm, the Animal League was able to provide emergency assistance in the tri-state area with a fleet of eight Mobile Rescue Units.  On Saturday, the Animal League deployed two Mobile Units to Mitchel Field in Uniondale, NY and took in 50 animals whose owners were staying at the emergency shelter set up at Nassau Community College.  The units were stocked with dog and cat food, supplies and medical kits and pet parents were able to visit and walk their animals.  Kira Principato, a member of the NSALA Emergency Rescue Team who was on location at Mitchel Field from Saturday through Monday, assured the pet owners that their dogs and cats would be safe and secure during this stressful time.  “People’s animals are very dear to them and the Animal League took great care in making both animals and pet parents feel comfortable,” she said.

Earlier in the day, a Mobile Unit was sent out to rescue 5 canines and 15 felines, including two mothers nursing babies, from the Wantagh Animal Shelter.  These animals were brought to the Animal League’s headquarters and are available for adoption.  In addition, a Mobile Unit rescued 10 kittens from the Brooklyn Animal Foster Network in Coney Island who are residing in the Animal League’s Pet Nursery and will be put up for adoption.

On Friday, an Animal League Mobile Unit was driven to the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) in Wainscott, NY to assist the shelter in housing dogs and cats due to increased numbers because of the summer population in the area.  The Animal League also rescued 40 cats from Bobbi and the Strays in Freeport, NY and housed them at the Animal League’s headquarters in Port Washington, NY over the weekend.  Another Animal League Mobile Rescue Unit was stationed at Brookhaven Animal Shelter over the weekend and housed an overflow of dogs and cats. 

“It was the Animal League’s goal to minimize potential danger to dogs and cats and prevent the loss of life, and we are extremely proud of our staff that worked around the clock to ensure the safety not only of our own animals but animals throughout the area as well,” said Sylvia Ottaka, Senior Director, Shelter Operations, NSALA.  “The Animal League’s on-site staff and volunteers have shown the same dedication to saving as many animal lives as possible by keeping the adoption center staffed and fully operational throughout the weekend." 

The Animal League continued to monitor the situation before, during and after the storm.  These Mobile Rescue Unit deployments reflect the Animal League’s relationships with shelters and rescue partners throughout Long Island, and its decades-long commitment to saving animal lives.

North Shore Animal League America - Home of the Mutt-i-gree® - headquartered in Port Washington, NY, is the largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization in the world. The Animal League reaches across the country to rescue, nurture and adopt 20,000 pets into happy and loving homes each year. Over the past decade, the Animal League saved over 200,000 lives and has saved 1,000,000 animals since its inception. “Like” us at, follow us at To learn more about animal rescue and welfare, visit

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