While A Shelter Is The Best Place Right Now, Companionship Still Desired

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Life after Superstorm Sandy has been a struggle for many pet owners. Some of them lost beloved animal companions. Others are fighting to keep pets safe while they were trying to recover.

Luckily, a lot good people are lending a hand, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported.

His cats fled to the second floor as the tidal surge approached, but Farid Shehadeh said he couldn’t evacuate the dozens of birds he kept on the first floor of his New Dorp Beach home.

“Oh, it hurts. I been keeping birds since I was 5, 6 years old. And now everything is gone,” Shehadeh said Thursday.

Losing pets and caring for surviving animal companions remain a major concern for storm victims. Most people are looking for help. Their homes were destroyed, but they still have animals in them. And in many cases, the homes have no heat.

Sean Casey runs an animal rescue in Brooklyn, where dozens of pets are finding shelter in the aftermath of the storm – dogs, cats and even lizards – their owners live in devastated Breezy Point.

“The animals we do have here are getting daily phone calls from their owners. How are they doing? Are they eating? Are they drinking? They want every little detail, and then they cry.  They want to be with their pets and get them home as soon as they can,” Casey said.

Generous donors are providing tons of dog food and dozens of packages are arriving at the shelter with supplies sent from an Internet “wish list.”

Back in New Dorp Beach, Donna Solli said her dog, “Lola,” would be better off in a shelter, but she is keeping her at home.

“I was hoping she maybe might have to go, might have to go, but she’s my only source of warmth late at night. During the storm last night we huddled under a blanket together,” Solli said.

For the owners of sheltered animals, the pain of separation is no doubt acute in the aftermath of the storm.

The Casey shelter is also caring for a number of animals rescued from flooded neighborhoods.

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