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Hurricane Sandy Rescue Story: College Educator Lends a Helping Hand

As a science teacher at Nassau Community College, Carole Neidich-Ryder is accustomed to spending time near Mitchel Field, which is adjacent to  the school's campus.

But this is the first time she has spent so much time out of the classroom, spending hour after hour feeding, walking and giving affection to some 100 dogs and cats at North Shore Animal League's offsite emergency animal shelter at Mitchel Field.

Neidich-Ryder, who also teaches at Long Island University's C.W. Post College, is here as part of Campus CERT, a division of Nassau County CERT, which stands for Community Emergency Response Team.

"I've been a responder to many emergency situations, including the Flight 800 disaster in 1996," says Carole, who rescued animals as curator of Tackapausha Museum in Seaford for 35 years. But this is the first time she's worked as a volunteer through CERT alongside the Animal League America team.

"It's a pleasure working with fellow professionals who are so knowledgeable and care deeply about the animals as if they were their own, until those animals can be reunited with their owners," says Carole. "When I helped my neighbor adopt two cats from North Shore Animal League, I had no idea that they also were such experts at emergency animal rescue. And seeing how happy the animals are makes it an even bigger pleasure."

Kira Principato, offsite team leader for Animal League America, is grateful for the dedicated efforts and positive attitude of volunteers such as Carole. "When animals are in danger, it's amazing to see how people come together to help," says Kira. "We all have the same priority: to keep animals safe and to reunite them as soon as possible with their families."

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