Pet Advocate Urges Owners: 'If You Have A Pet, Have A Plan'

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy’s impact, temporary shelters were established to help care for pets of displaced residents.

But now, nearly five months after Sandy, many displaced pets are still waiting for a home.

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The temporary shelter set up in Nassau County following the storm is set to close this week.

A kitten nicknamed “Oily Oreo” was soaked in petroleum that cascaded through her owner’s Island Park home.

“We’re trying to get the oil, clean her up,” a volunteer told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan on Monday.

The kitten is among the still-unclaimed animals in Nassau’s emergency pet shelter, located inside a former Navy hangar at Mitchell Field.

“We had animals that were up to their neck and up to their hind quarters in water. And they were flooding, their owners were fearing for their lives. And they’re here because their owners lost their homes, they can’t take them back,” Gary Rogers with the Nassau SPCA told CBS 2’s McLogan.

Rogers added that some pet owners have moved out of the area.

Volunteers said they have spent the past several months scrambling to track down the pet’s owners.

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At one point, 516 homeless animals were housed at the shelter. Currently, there are less than 30 pets still in need of a permanent home. Some volunteers at the shelter came from as far away as Canada and California but now must return home, McLogan reported.

“The night of the storm when it began, I came here that night,” shelter volunteer Frank Pospisil told McLogan. “And I stayed here all day, and the rest is history. I’ve been coming back ever since.”

Volunteers and members of the Pet Safe Coalition said the storm taught important lessons about animal homelessness.

“If you have a pet, have a plan,” said Beverly Poppell with Pet Safe Coalition of Wantagh.

Nassau’s emergency pet shelter will officially close its doors Friday but as of midnight on Monday, the pets will all be officially placed in the custody of Nassau’s SPCA.

The SPCA has pledged to find permanent or foster homes for every pet that remains sheltered.

Anyone interested in adopting one of these pets should call the Nassau Emergency Pet Shelter at 516-272-0017 or email them at

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