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Superstorm Sandy Wrap Up

When Superstorm Sandy threatened to hit the Tri-State Region and bring devastation, North Shore Animal League America’s Emergency Rescue Team took action. Prior to the storm touching ground, Animal League America utilized two of our Emergency Rescue Mobile Units at the Nassau County Hurricane Sandy Emergency Pet Shelter in Mitchel Field Athletic Complex, Garden City. Those two mobile units housed displaced pets as their owners sought safe housing at the human emergency shelter.

As Superstorm Sandy touched ground, the magnitude of the disaster was beyond even the worst predications. Thousands of people lost their homes, and hundreds of owned animals were also displaced by the Superstorm. Many people were faced with the heartbreaking dilemma of what to do with their beloved pets. Pet owners needed somewhere to turn where they knew their pets would be safe. A larger Emergency Pet Shelter space was provided by Nassau County’s Office of Emergency management at the Mitchel Field Gymnasium to accommodate the increasing number of displaced pets.

For more than four months, Animal League America staff and volunteers cared for over 500 animals at the Nassau County Emergency Pet Shelter. The League provided medical care to every animal that entered the shelter. This included vaccinations and medical evaluations by an Animal League America veterinarian. Our veterinary technicians administered medication twice a day to any animal in need, and our veterinarians conducted daily check-ups on the animals. Animal League America staff also transported and treated animals at our Medical Center in Port Washington, NY, administering surgeries, x-rays and medical care, if needed.

Our shelter staff lovingly cared for every owned animal that came through the Emergency Pet Shelter doors with daily walks, feedings and lots of play time. A local overcrowded municipal shelter sought refuge at the emergency shelter for over 20 of their dogs they were unable to house. This included ten adult Pit Bull mixes and three elderly animals that otherwise would have been euthanized. Our behavioral staff provided behavior evaluations on all of the animals, and our foster care staff and volunteers created and coordinated a Foster Referral Program so that displaced owners who could not yet return home had a safe place for their pets to stay until they could retrieve them.

Animal League America also assisted in the placement of 55 relinquished animals whose owners, after the widespread devastation caused by Sandy, were unable to take their animals back.

Every member of our team treated each and every animal as if it was their own, providing not only essential care, but also love and compassion.

We are very grateful to our partners in this massive rescue effort, including the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, Nassau County SPCA, Pet Safe Coalition and dozens of devoted volunteers.