New York and New Jersey animal shelters are preparing for new southern arrivals after Hurricane Ida’s catastrophic landing, which caused over $ 50 million in local damage, according to NY Governor Kathy Hochul.
Ida first hit Louisiana on August 29 as a cat. 4 hurricanes with winds up to 150 miles per hour. The then weakened storm continued with its destruction route to the northeast, surviving nearly 50 due to devastating tornadoes, floods and record rainfall throughout the region.
Given the widespread destruction, animal shelters from across the tri-state came into action.
The North Shore Animal League America, in Port Washington, has received over 50 dogs from collaboration rooms, according to the announcement last week via Facebook. One of the animals, a pregnant mother, delivers 5 puppies for rescue on Long Island.
Earlier this month, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center bringing in over 70 animals from a Greater Good Charities flight from Lafayette, Louisiana, to Morristown, New Jersey.
The rescue process behind the scenes may not be what you would expect. Instead of sending individual rescue teams directly, shelters in New York and New Jersey will come together to make a joint plan.
“In this case, we reached out to our friends at Best Friends, who organized a shipment from Louisiana and Mississippi up to the New York area. Came on board with how many animals we can take, and received just 8 dogs under the age of 1 arrives at our shelter, “said Leslie Granger, President & CEO of Bideawee.
Bideawee is scheduled to rescue 14 more dogs from Louisiana next week, bringing the total amount to 22 from that region.
Given that shelters can already be overwhelmed before a natural disaster, it is first considered to empty these strays and get them ready for transport before adding newcomers from a storm.
“We learned it was culturally sensitive. It’s also the smartest thing to do, and it’s one thing we learned from Hurricane Katrina. Pets that arrived in California that were microchipped had pet parents searching everywhere,” he said. Maya Richmond, executive director of the Animal Welfare Association, told NBC New York.
Next, a state of emergency must be declared by a large-scale organization, e.g. ASPCA, which would be invited to carry out further rescue work.
Instead of transporting animals to the New York facility, the ASPCA has deployed a disaster response team to lead water and rescue services throughout southern Louisiana. The agency will mobilize an emergency room in Knoxville, Tennessee, to provide housing and care.
“We expect the shelter to house up to 60 animals at a time and will continue to work with external partners to place these animals in safe, loving homes across the country,” Tim Rickey, vice president of ASPCA National Field Response, told NBC New York.
In addition to emergency services, the ASPCA has assisted in transporting over 150 homeless animals. The pets transported to shelters will be examined for medical problems such as heartworm, giardia and ulcers.
“Shelters do their best to expose everything [medical information] that they can provide the timeline. Sometimes there will be medical or behavioral situations that we discover later, and that is ultimately something we accept, ”Irene Borngraeber, executive director of the Liberty Humane Society, told NBC New York.
At a location in Jersey City, the kennel has been under renovation, leaving Borngraeber and team strongly relying on the care system. Post-Ida, this house has received about 10 dogs.
If you can not afford money or time commitment to adopt animals, but want to help, here are a few things you can do:
1. Check your local lighting website to see if there is a wish list for supplies. Some more popular questions are boxes, carriers, urinals and food.
2. Try caring for an animal in distress, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, when shelters experience staff shortages. Fostering provides a way to reap the benefits of housing a dog or cat, but does not necessarily take on the full lifelong commitment. Plus, you’re helping a pet in danger.
3. Donate money to your rescue. The cost of sterilization, castration, or emergency surgery can add to these shelters, which can rely heavily on communities.
4. If your time is flexible and a vacancy, you can consider volunteering at your kennel.
If you are interested in adopting pets rescued from Hurricane Ida, here is a list of organizations that bring pets in.