When Superstorm Sandy hit Long Island, it wasn't just the two-legged residents who were affected. The hurricane has left local animal shelters full or over-full and has had volunteers and employees scrambling to help out.
Meredith Festa of Port Jefferson, a volunteer with Smithtown-based Guardians of Rescue, told Patch that members of that organization have been out in the field every day since the hurricane and the nor'easter and have found many sick and injured animals.
"It's just brutal everywhere," Festa said. "We are trying to coordinate a foster network and have organized pet food and supply relief. ... Most of them are coming from the hardest hit areas where people did not get out in time, or could not evacuate."
Dori Scofield, president and founder of Save-a-Pet Animal Rescue and Adoption Center in Port Jefferson Station, said in an email to Patch that the shelter is "packed out" with animals for adoption.
"We have several dogs and cats who are now homeless due to Hurricane Sandy," Scofield said. "Their owners sadly had to give them up because they have no longer have a home to go to where they can take them. We are fostering out as many as we can in hopes to reunite them with owners that can eventually take them back."
At the Brookhaven Town Animal Shelter – which normally has room for 74 dogs and 50 cats, but which is currently housing well over 200 dogs and 100 cats – there was a slightly different story. Town spokesman Jack Krieger said some employees had emergencies at their own homes during the hurricane and couldn't report to work.
"Others offered to work extra hours to compensate and all turned out fine," Krieger said in an email to Patch. "We did not get overwhelmed with an increase in strays, which would have posed a problem seeing that we are way over capacity."
All three organizations said there are ways to help the animals weather the storm:
- Donations of pet food, blankets, and other pet supplies can be made to the Brookhaven Town Animal Shelter.
- Monetary donations, which are tax deductible, can also be made to the Help the Animals Fund, which helps support the animal shelter.
- To donate supplies to Guardians of Rescue, or to learn how to donate, read this Patch announcement.
- To donate supplies or make monetary contributions to Save-a-Pet, visit the organization's website.