This time, an explosion rocked East Harlem. Two buildings collapsed and hundreds of families were displaced on Wednesday due to a gas leak. On Thursday, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals stepped in* to help pet owners rescue their beloved animals from the adjacent buildings.
Each family was given only a few minutes to fetch what mattered most: their pets were top of the list — dogs, cats, and even fish. Animal Care & Control of NYC and the ASPCA offered supplies and the Alliance’s Debbie Fierro of the Wheels of Hope program and Jenny Coffey of the Helping Pets and People in Crisis program stepped in to help pet owners, one by one, gain access to destroyed apartments to make sure no animals were left behind. Con Ed remained nearby measuring possible gas leaks to make sure the building remained safe.
Inside the building, the collateral damage was devastating: the debris, the shattered windows, and the stench. Debbie and Jenny were instantly reminded of the Alliance’s response following Superstorm Sandy to help pet owners in the Rockaways. With strong determination and flashlights, the Alliance team searched for each animal and found them hiding and clearly traumatized by all they had gone through.
While some families had already found friends able to foster their pets, Animal Haven, a private animal shelter in lower Manhattan, offered a safe refuge for the remaining pets, giving each animal a safe place to go temporarily and each pet owner the time to make arrangements for their special companions.Friday, March 14, 2014
Today Jenny and Debbie from the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals continued their intensive response to help displaced pet owners in need up in Harlem. Yesterday, many pets were retrieved, but others remained in danger because pet owners couldn’t find them during the limited building access. Certainly it is understood that the loud explosion and the sounds of smashing glass scared many of these animals, and some searched for secret hiding places. Today, the Alliance team gained access again, looking specifically for several cats, including Fritz and Paris. After careful inspection, Paris was found in a closet and Fritz was lifted from under a bed.
The day was completed by transporting a group of rescued animals by the Alliance’s Wheels of Hope. We coordinated with a number of Alliance Participating Organizations (APOs) to accept these animals for temporary care, and nearly a dozen animals have already been taken to The Humane Society of New York and Animal Haven. Today, dogs Spuds and Rosie went to Bideawee for a brief stay; turtles Bonnie and Clyde went to Sean Casey Animal Rescue, and a parakeet named Pepe went to a special foster home for birds arranged through the Alliance. Fritz and Paris will be spending the weekend with the Alliance, and we hope that all of these precious animals will soon be reunited with their families.
Your Donations Make This Possible!
It is through your generous donations that we can continue to provide these life-saving services for New York City’s vulnerable pets and the people who love them. Please consider making a one-time gift or setting up a monthly donation to provide ongoing support so we can always be ready to step in to help. Thank you!
* The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals responds to disasters in New York City in collaboration with our partners on the Animal Planning Task Force (APTF) of the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM).