One of the lesser talked about effects of Hurricane Sandy is the number of pets that have been lost or displaced. Animal shelters in the storm-affected areas have run out of room trying to take in those newly displaced pets in addition to those already in their care. A number of animal welfare organizations across New England are now reaching out to help fellow agencies in communities affected by Sandy. New England Public Radio’s Kari Njiiri went to visit the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society in Springfield, which has taken in some new arrivals.
-Ambience-“…This is Jocko. Jocko is about 4 years old, and he’s a white cat with brown tabby patches on him. And he has short hair and really pretty yellow eyes, and loves to be petted…”
Leslie Harris says Jocko is among ten cats that arrived in Springfield this weekend from an animal shelter in Monmouth County, New Jersey, which took a direct hit from Sandy. Harris, who is the executive director of the Dakin Humane Society, says animal welfare agencies in New Jersey are pressed for room as they take in lost pets or those who need temporary shelters while their owners also look for a place to live. Harris says Dakin would take in more so-called Sandy cats, but the facility is filled to capacity with more than 200 cats currently in its care. To make more room, she says the Society has launched what it calls a Name your price promotion that waives the $95 adoption fee for cats six months or older.
“The cat’s already neutered, he’s already had his vaccinations, he’s had his blood work done, he’s ready to go home….what we really want to tell the community out there is look if you come down and adopt cats from Dakin today, you will make more room for us to help more cats who are in this community that’s been devastated.”
And Harris adds it also reciprocates the help Dakin received when its facility took a direct hit from last year’s tornado. She says one cat from New Jersey has already been adopted. As for dogs, Harris says the Society is ready to accommodate them as well if they are asked to.