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Over 100 Pets Being Boarded At Emergency Post-Sandy Shelter

Hurricane Sandy pets

Shelters have taken in many animals displaced by Hurricane Sandy, but owners are having some serious separation anxiety. (Photo: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — While they would rather stay with their pets, many New Yorkers are taking advantage of the services of the Emergency Boarding Center in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn until they’re back on their feet.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, Shirley, a Canarsie, Brooklyn resident, dropped off her cat, Taco. But it wasn’t easy letting go.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond Reports

“I want to visit my cat every day,” she said.

Taco had been staying in a flooded-out basement, and his owner knew it was not good for his health.

“I don’t know what I would do if this wasn’t here, like, what would we be doing with Taco?” Shirley said. “I wouldn’t know what to do with him.”

Goldie, a 6-year-old tabby from Far Rockaway, ran away from her owner, Campbell Emanuel, during Superstorm Sandy.

“She got out somehow and we couldn’t find her,” Emmanuel said. “We’re lucky – we went back into the house today” and the cat was there.

As of Saturday, the temporary shelter had 40 cats, 60 dogs, a parakeet, a ferret and a rabbit. All get checked out before they are boarded by Dr. Janet Ficcara, a Manhattan veterinarian volunteering her services.

“I fear for the animals that might still be out there that are hunkering down behind the house, where their house used to be, under a car,” Ficcara said.

The Emergency Boarding Center, at 1508 Herkheimer St., is the last resort for owners of the beloved pets, said Jessica Rubin of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“These animals are really just for owners to board here for a temporary basis,” she said. “It’s absolutely a pet hotel, and we’ll take care of them for free, so no charge to the owner, and they’ll get the care they need while they’re getting back on their feet.”

The ASPCA set up the 20,000 square-foot shelter in conjunction with Animal Care & Control of New York City and other city agencies, as well as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Veterinary Response team. It was funded by a $500,000 donation from celebrity chef and talk show host Rachael Ray.

The shelter is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those who need to bring their pets to the facility should call the Hurricane Sandy Pet Hotline, at Hurricane Sandy pet hotline (347) 573-1561.