Foundation Helps Superstorm Victims

Hurricane Sandy Damage

For most of us, the meal of the year is quickly fading from memory. While families, friends and neighbors gathered together last Thursday for Thanksgiving, others were slowly picking up the pieces of their lives after Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic storm on record. Pummeling the East Coast beginning on October 29th, the death toll of the 1,000-mile-wide superstorm is estimated to be 113 human lives. Not tallied, and possibly unknowable, are the numbers of companion animals lost in the wake of this devastating weather event.

Even as America watched live reports and montages of unimaginable devastation, our foundation’s Board of Directors began thinking of the lives that weren’t featured in the earliest breaking news stories … those of homeless dogs and cats. To assist in rescue and recovery efforts, an emergency session was convened to determine how the non-profit wing of Life’s Abundance might best provide assistance to our neighbors to the north.

After reviewing several options, the Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation approved emergency funding for two rescue organizations, both of which oversee and coordinate efforts of dozens of other animal rescue groups. Knowing that time was of the essence, two checks – each for $3,000 – were overnighted to New York’s Adopt NY and New Jersey’s Coalition for Animals.
In what follows, we’ll review some of the highlights of what your donations helped to make possible.

Award to Adopt NY in New York:

Founded when two rescue groups joined forces, volunteers for Adopt NY have dedicated years to saving abandoned companion animals from uncertain ends on the streets of one of America’s most populous areas. With their combined energies, they’ve created a truly democratic operation, joining forces of 44 non-profit rescue groups. This affiliation allows rescues to not only connect to other volunteers for advice and support, but also enables them to connect with pet foster parents and potential adopters. Bottom line, more animals are being saved from long-term shelter stays and euthenasia thanks to Adopt NY’s efforts.

After Sandy struck New York, caretakers – many of whom have dedicated their lives to fighting animal homelessness – found they no longer had a foster home to offer. In addition to the dogs and cats who were already homeless, there is now a whole new wave of animals made homeless by the storm. Adding insult to injury, damage was reported in at least one shelter facility, where floodwaters ruined food and medical supplies.

Adopt NY lost no time mounting a response to the unfolding tragedy, seeking to provide the two most pressing necessities – shelter and supplies. Even as they began making calls and appeals online for food, medicine and places to stay, they also started asking for financial contributions. Dr. Jane heard their appeal, which ultimately led to our emergency grant of $3,000 slated toward the costs of feeding hundreds of animals.

Adopt New York Delivering Goods

Renting a delivery truck to transport seven tons of food and supplies, volunteers embarked on a 14-hour trip through the five boroughs (including Yonkers) doling out supplies to rescues with the greatest needs. In the words of Rob Maher, Fundraising and Corporate Outreach Director, “Thanks in large part to the generosity of the Dr. Jane's HealthyPetNet Foundation, we’ve purchased over 14,000 lbs and counting of high quality dog food, cat food and cat litter.” And, thanks to Adopt NY’s negotiating skills and the goodwill of their suppliers, everything purchased was at a discounted price, allowing the rescue to maximize the buying power of the donations.

Rescued Owner Seeking Owner

Within just three weeks of the disaster, more than 800 people had already applied to become foster parents for homeless pets. All of those applications have been distributed to Adopt NY’s network of rescues. It is our fervent hope that all of the homeless animals will find long-term, loving places to call home … and very soon.

Award to Coalition for Animals in New Jersey

In continuous operation since 1994, Coalition for Animals (CFA) has been under the direction of Rose Rosenbaum for more than a decade. Not limited to saving cats and dogs, CFA has been involved in a diversity of animal species, including creatures from zoos and circuses, “wild” animals saved from fur industry merchants, as well as more traditional farm animals.

When we first spoke to Rose on November 9th, CFA was still trying to ascertain the needs of their affiliated rescues. Even as late as two weeks after landfall, some rescues located near the Atlantic shore remained unreachable. Rose led by example, loading her car with hay for temporary bedding for numerous feral cat colonies, and driving to several locations to judge the extent of the damage.

Based upon her investigations and requests for information, they divvied up our contribution and redistributed 100% of our $3,000 grant among ten of the Coalition’s rescues. Each of the ten received at least $100 and not more than $500, and amounts were dependent upon the severity of each group’s need.

- Act for Animals, based in Maple Shade, which post-storm is providing meals for approximately 300 feral cats in and around Camden, a significant increase in the homeless feline population.

- Located in New Egypt, All About Them Giant Breed Rescue provides care for 37 large canines. In addition to taking on a Rottweiler, two Great Danes and an English Mastiff – each from a different shelter dealing with their own storm-related problems – they also took in two cats who survived perilous flood waters.

- Based in Spotswood, All Critters Rescue suffered losses from their flock of saved animals, including two sheep and two ducks. The animals perished when a tree crashed into their barn and high winds demolished the duck shelter. In spite of their grief, they heeded the call when asked to take in two more creatures, both cats displaced by the storm.

Blind Kitty

- Just prior to Sandy’s landfall, Point Pleasant Beach’s Shore Area Volunteers 4 Animals intervened in a hoarding situation, saving the lives of 60 cats. Having just gotten the felines settled, most of whom required medical care due to dire living conditions, the power went out. The medication required refrigeration; consequently, all of it was ruined. In spite of this remarkable bit of bad timing, these die-hard rescuers still took in an additional cat who suffered blindness due to high blood pressure during the storm. What the group had classified as a “devastating” scenario was turned around by an amazing act of generosity. A donor gave them a brand new generator, a gift that was personally delivered all the way from Texas … that’s a 34-hour drive, one-way!

- Stanton’s NJ Animeals provides food for homebound families who share what little they have with companion animals. Some of these folks endured great hardship due to Sandy, and Animeals has been doing their best to make sure their people have food to eat.

- Already tasked with feeding several feral cat colonies, Seaside Heights Animal Welfare Group witnessed firsthand a huge jump in the number of homeless cats after the storm. They’ve been doing their best under difficult circumstances to feed hundreds of cats, many of whom are presumably in the wild for the first time, having been abandoned - voluntarily or involuntarily - due to the storm.

- In Barnegat, One By One Cat Rescue has taken in half a dozen new cats and is doing their level best to make room for more. One of the queens took up residence in a stranger’s garage, giving birth shortly before the storm hit. The garage was deluged with flood waters, but all six – that’s five healthy kittens – were saved, and are now comfortable at a volunteer’s residence.

Trudy

- The remaining three rescues, each with their own resilience and dogged determination to rescue those affected by Sandy, have dedicated their efforts solely to saving the lives of cats. While specific details about their endeavors are sparse at present, we honor their work in stating their names and locations: Calling All Cats Rescue in Bayville, Operation Kindness in Little Silver and God’s Creatures Ministry located in Wayne. We salute each and every one of these small organizations for every life they have saved.

While no completely accurate count of the number of animal lives saved and bettered may ever be known, our readers can take heart in knowing that scores of companion animals have been positively affected by their support.

We give our sincere thanks to all of our readers and customers who, through their personal donations and continued patronage, made these emergency donations possible. The same goes to all of the volunteers – many enduring hardships of their own – who have dedicated their time and energy to making life better for the feline and canine survivors of Hurricane Sandy.

Comments (4) -

  • JoAnne Rando-Moon

    11/28/2012 1:53:38 PM |

    Awesome.  Thank you to the continued work of the Dr. Jane Foundation in caring for homeless animals.  It makes me proud to know my purchase of Life's Abundance products helps fund this valuable work.

  • Janet Roberts

    11/29/2012 7:18:34 AM |

    I am always thankful that purchasing Life's Abundance products also helps animals in need, but even more so after Superstorm Sandy hit NY and NJ.  Thank you to your Foundation for acting so quickly to help those NY and NJ animal shelters take care of even more animals.  

  • E Hiteshew

    12/3/2012 12:40:00 PM |

    What an excellent program! Great collaborations and of course service to the animals that need us so much.

  • Rev Lilly

    12/18/2012 9:27:18 AM |

    God Bless you all for the wonderful things you have done. Thank You!

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