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Helping Companion Animals After Hurricane Sandy

A picture the Mayor's Alliance is using to solicit volunteers for pet food distribution.

A picture the Mayor’s Alliance is using to solicit volunteers for pet food distribution.

OK, what are you supposed to do to help companion animals (a.k.a. pets) after Hurricane Sandy? “>resources out there Occupy Sandy probably being the best bet if you want to just show up and be put to work), and undoubtably many of these help non-humans as well as humans.

But what if you specifically want to help the animals? Here’s what I know about that seems worth knowing about:

  • The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals have been maintaining a list of Resources for NYC Pet Owners Impacted by Hurricane Sandy. It’s a big page with a lot on it.
  • Petfinder is doing daily roundup posts … or they were last week, and hopefully will do more this week.
  • The “Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets” Facebook page has well over 21,000 likes and is aggregating a lot of info and flyers (not just for NYC, either). The signal-to-noise ratio is frustrating, but you might see something useful there.
  • There are innumerable smaller shelters and rescue groups that are doing great work post-Sandy. If there’s a group you like near an affected area, reach out to them and see if they need help. They may need heavy labor help, but they may also need clean up help, administrative help, short-term foster homes, donations, etc.
  • Help the Mayor’s Alliance distribute pet food! Here’s the deal:
    We have an urgent need for volunteers to help with a crucial distribution of pet food to victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York City.

    The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, working with our partners on the Animal Planning Task Force of the NYC Office of Emergency Management, will begin distributing emergency pet food and cat litter on Monday, November 5, to NYC pet owners and animal rescue organizations impacted by the hurricane.

    Although final details about the distribution sites and times are still being developed, we anticipate the distribution sites will be at locations in areas of greatest need: Staten Island, Coney Island, the Rockaways, and Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

    While not yet confirmed, we hope to begin the distribution on Monday, November 5.

    If you are available for this effort and have access to any of the target locations, please let us know by sending an e-mail to

    In your e-mail, please provide the following necessary information:

    1) Your name
    2) Your e-mail address
    3) Your phone number(s)
    4) Your days and hours of availability
    5) The location(s) from the list above at which you can be available
    6) If you have a vehicle (and access to fuel) and can transport pet food and litter

    We will get back to you with your assignment as soon as the details are confirmed.

Hopefully everyone who wants to help can find a way. And remember: if you’re donating stuff (rather than money or labor), always confirm that what you’re donating is meeting a current need. Unwanted donations are disruptive and wasteful. They’re useful only for making an ignorant donor feel good about themselves.

What’s missing? How have you been helping out? Let us know in the comments!


  1. Comment by


    on #

    Here are links to local animal rescue groups in need of donations & supplies:

    According to Adopt NY, the first wave of supplies from the Adopt NY Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund arrived at Bobbi and the Strays’ flooded shelter yesterday. And “as of a few minutes ago, thanks to all your support, the Relief Fund has hit $13,540 and 675 foster applications.”

    Adopt NY is hosting a Sandy Animal Relief Comedy & Music Benefit this Wednesday, Nov 7th at Bar Matchless from which 100% of proceeds will go to its Relief Fund according to the group. Here’s the event page:

  2. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    Thanks, Anne!

  3. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    Another thing to check (though social media signal-to-noise caveats apply here, too): the #SandyPets hashtag on Twitter.

  4. Comment by


    on #

    Also, this just in: from the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter:
    We are in desperate need of newspaper, towels and blankets. We don’t have power, and are running on a generator, which means we also don’t have a washing machine/dryer. Food bowls are being washed by hand, it is a cold 30 degrees most nights, although we have heat in the kennels, it still gets chilly. We are also driving through the hardest hit areas
    to provide food/water for people who lost everything but haven’t given up on their pets.

    We NEED people to come in to foster animals- we need rescues to step up to adopt from the shelter, we can’t provide transport at this time. But we are asking the rescue community to help us get animals out!!

    We have small dogs, (a few with medical conditions), felines, kittens, adults cats and seniors, we have dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds..And we have senior dogs that deserve to spend the winter months out of the shelter and in the care of rescues.

    Anyone interested in adopting from the shelter is urged to contact:

    Nancy Giris @ (@ tohmail .org)

    Wendy Cariello @ (@ tohmail .org)

    Any rescues interested in pulling from the shelter are asked to contact:
    Shari Polen @ (@ tohmail .org)

  5. Comment by


    on #

    Willing to emergency foster 1 dog or 1 cat post-Sandy. Am in 1-bdrm (large) apt in Prospect Heights with 2 cats already so can provide fostering for 1-2 weeks max…
    Hook me up with urgent need animal or rescue group if you can.

  6. Comment by


    on #

    Use the Lost Petz App to issue alerts if you have lost a pet, and download the free App if you want to help; it will recieve alerts from any owner who has lost a pet within a 10 mile radius. Lots of media coverage but the more of us the better, so please help to spread the word.