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Hurricane Sandy Rescue Story: Storm Evacuees Become Rescuers Themselves
When Sarah Korman was debating whether to evacuate the Long Beach apartment that she shares with her fiancé Michael Cunha, she had one major concern in mind: her six pets. Sarah and Michael are the proud parents of -- dogs Jade (pictured right with Sarah), Ava and Viglif, and cats Cookie, Mouse and Calico--and there was no way they were leaving them behind.
Luckily, Michael's mother had heard that North Shore Animal League America was on the job, having set up a rescue site to provide shelter, food and medical care at Mitchel Field, just minutes from the Red Cross shelter at Nassau Community College, where about 600 people found refuge from the storm.
"Long Beach has no food, water, electricity or gasoline," says Michael. "It would have been extremely dangerous for all of us to stay at our home."
The couple not only brought all six animals to Animal League America's offsite shelter at Mitchel Field, they decided to volunteer to help all the animals in our care, which number about 100, spending their days and evenings feeding and walking them, along with cleaning cages and providing hugs and kisses.
Michael and Sarah have been working side by side with the Animal League America rescue team, providing 24/7 care for the animals as they sleep on cots in the Mitchel Field building.
"It's been tiring but fun," says Michael. "I'm an animal guy, and I didn't know what to expect. But it's such a friendly and well-run system."
Although many of their possessions have been ruined by flood waters, both Sarah and Michael feel blessed and grateful because their furry family is safe and sound. "To know that I am helping take care my animals and all these other dogs and cats is an incredible feeling," says Sarah. "I understand how much people love their animals, and when they can't be here to give them love, I can do it for them."