The ASPCAÂ® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsÂ®) today established an emergency boarding facilityâ€”made possible by a $500,000 grant provided by television personality, bestselling author and animal advocate Rachael Rayâ€”in the Bedfordâ€“Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn to provide temporary sheltering for hundreds of animals displaced by Hurricane Sandy.
The ASPCA is working in collaboration with Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C), the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, NYC Veterinary Emergency Response Team (NYCVERT), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Veterinary Response Team (NVRT) on the management of the emergency boarding facility, which will be open for 30 days.
"We recognize the great need to help pet owners during this difficult time by temporarily caring for their animals while they get back on their feet," said Tim Rickey, senior director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. "The ASPCA is working with local and national animal welfare agencies to assist animals affected by the storm, and we're grateful to have these valued partners helping us manage the emergency boarding facility and provide relief for both people and pets alike."
As a member of the New York City Office of Emergency Management's Animal Planning Task Force*, the ASPCA is fielding calls through the Hurricane Sandy pet hotline (347-573-1561) to assist pet owners and those who are interested in helping animal victims of the storm. Local and national groups including the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, Wayside Waifs, Louisiana SPCA, Sumter DART and Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation will have responders on the ground to assist with the daily care of the animals at the ASPCA emergency boarding facility.
Additionally, NYCVERT and NVRT will be providing veterinary medical support for owned animals sheltered at the facility.
Pet owners who need temporary sheltering for their pets should bring, along with their pet, one government-issued photo ID (i.e. driver's license, passport, military ID, or non-driver ID) and a proof of address (i.e. utility bill, driver's license). If possible, we encourage people to have their pets wearing ID tags in a carrier or crate, vaccination records, and medications or supplies for pets with special needs.
Over the next few days, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals will transport owned animals from the evacuation centers in NYC to the ASPCA's emergency boarding facility. Owned animals that have been temporarily housed at an auxiliary shelter established at Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Brooklyn will also be transported to the facility by Mayor's Alliance Wheels of Hope transport vans and the ASPCA's transport trailer.
"We will continue our disaster relief work to help animal victims in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and hope that the emergency boarding facility will allow pet owners to focus on rebuilding their lives," added Rickey. "It will take time, but we will work as a community, and the ASPCA will continue to provide ongoing assistance, personnel and resources as long as we're needed."
Since the storm, the ASPCA has been in Sandy-affected areas to rescue and reunite animals with their families, distribute critical supplies and provide veterinary care for animals impacted. More than 300 animals have been rescued by ASPCA responders, and through pet supply distribution and mobile wellness clinics, the ASPCA has assisted nearly 16,000 animals in New York City and Long Island combined. The ASPCA also mobilized its Disaster Response team to conduct water and land search-and-rescue operations for pets. Additionally, the ASPCA partnered with PetSmart Charities, Inc. to provide pet supplies including crates, pet food, cat litter, leashes and other goods to thousands of pet owners throughout the region. Other groups who have contributed to pet food distribution include the American Red Cross, New York Yankees, Hugo Neu Corporation, Del Monte Foods, Purina, IAMS and Mars.
The $500,000 donation is made possible by the sale of Ms. Ray's pet food brand NutrishÂ®. In addition, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, the company that makes Ray's pet food line NutrishÂ®, has donated four tons of wet and dry dog food to be distributed to hungry animals in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Since its inception in 2008, Ray has donated 100 percent of her proceeds from the sale of NutrishÂ® to shelters and organizations like the ASPCA, so they can implement programs like these and support shelters around the country. To date, Ray has donated more than $3 million in proceeds from the sale of NutrishÂ® to help animals in need.