Even as America watched live reports and montages of unimaginable devastation, our foundation’s Board of Directors began thinking of the lives that weren’t featured in the earliest breaking news stories … those of homeless dogs and cats. To assist in rescue and recovery efforts, an emergency session was convened to determine how the non-profit wing of Life’s Abundance might best provide assistance to our neighbors to the north.
After reviewing several options, the Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation approved emergency funding for two rescue organizations, both of which oversee and coordinate efforts of dozens of other animal rescue groups. Knowing that time was of the essence, two checks – each for $3,000 – were overnighted to New York’s Adopt NY and New Jersey’s Coalition for Animals.
In what follows, we’ll review some of the highlights of what your donations helped to make possible.
Award to Adopt NY in New York:
Founded when two rescue groups joined forces, volunteers for Adopt NY have dedicated years to saving abandoned companion animals from uncertain ends on the streets of one of America’s most populous areas. With their combined energies, they’ve created a truly democratic operation, joining forces of 44 non-profit rescue groups. This affiliation allows rescues to not only connect to other volunteers for advice and support, but also enables them to connect with pet foster parents and potential adopters. Bottom line, more animals are being saved from long-term shelter stays and euthenasia thanks to Adopt NY’s efforts.
After Sandy struck New York, caretakers – many of whom have dedicated their lives to fighting animal homelessness – found they no longer had a foster home to offer. In addition to the dogs and cats who were already homeless, there is now a whole new wave of animals made homeless by the storm. Adding insult to injury, damage was reported in at least one shelter facility, where floodwaters ruined food and medical supplies.
Adopt NY lost no time mounting a response to the unfolding tragedy, seeking to provide the two most pressing necessities – shelter and supplies. Even as they began making calls and appeals online for food, medicine and places to stay, they also started asking for financial contributions. Dr. Jane heard their appeal, which ultimately led to our emergency grant of $3,000 slated toward the costs of feeding hundreds of animals.
Award to Coalition for Animals in New Jersey
In continuous operation since 1994, Coalition for Animals (CFA) has been under the direction of Rose Rosenbaum for more than a decade. Not limited to saving cats and dogs, CFA has been involved in a diversity of animal species, including creatures from zoos and circuses, “wild” animals saved from fur industry merchants, as well as more traditional farm animals.
When we first spoke to Rose on November 9th, CFA was still trying to ascertain the needs of their affiliated rescues. Even as late as two weeks after landfall, some rescues located near the Atlantic shore remained unreachable. Rose led by example, loading her car with hay for temporary bedding for numerous feral cat colonies, and driving to several locations to judge the extent of the damage.
Based upon her investigations and requests for information, they divvied up our contribution and redistributed 100% of our $3,000 grant among ten of the Coalition’s rescues. Each of the ten received at least $100 and not more than $500, and amounts were dependent upon the severity of each group’s need.
- Act for Animals, based in Maple Shade, which post-storm is providing meals for approximately 300 feral cats in and around Camden, a significant increase in the homeless feline population.
- Located in New Egypt, All About Them Giant Breed Rescue provides care for 37 large canines. In addition to taking on a Rottweiler, two Great Danes and an English Mastiff – each from a different shelter dealing with their own storm-related problems – they also took in two cats who survived perilous flood waters.
- Based in Spotswood, All Critters Rescue suffered losses from their flock of saved animals, including two sheep and two ducks. The animals perished when a tree crashed into their barn and high winds demolished the duck shelter. In spite of their grief, they heeded the call when asked to take in two more creatures, both cats displaced by the storm.
- Stanton’s NJ Animeals provides food for homebound families who share what little they have with companion animals. Some of these folks endured great hardship due to Sandy, and Animeals has been doing their best to make sure their people have food to eat.
- Already tasked with feeding several feral cat colonies, Seaside Heights Animal Welfare Group witnessed firsthand a huge jump in the number of homeless cats after the storm. They’ve been doing their best under difficult circumstances to feed hundreds of cats, many of whom are presumably in the wild for the first time, having been abandoned - voluntarily or involuntarily - due to the storm.
- In Barnegat, One By One Cat Rescue has taken in half a dozen new cats and is doing their level best to make room for more. One of the queens took up residence in a stranger’s garage, giving birth shortly before the storm hit. The garage was deluged with flood waters, but all six – that’s five healthy kittens – were saved, and are now comfortable at a volunteer’s residence.
While no completely accurate count of the number of animal lives saved and bettered may ever be known, our readers can take heart in knowing that scores of companion animals have been positively affected by their support.
We give our sincere thanks to all of our readers and customers who, through their personal donations and continued patronage, made these emergency donations possible. The same goes to all of the volunteers – many enduring hardships of their own – who have dedicated their time and energy to making life better for the feline and canine survivors of Hurricane Sandy.
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