SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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ASPCA Opens Emergency Boarding Facility in Brooklyn to Help Pet Owners, Animal Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Generous $500K grant from Rachael Ray provides temporary sheltering and care

NEW YORK, Nov. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today established an emergency boarding facility—made possible by a $500,000 grant provided by television personality, bestselling author and animal advocate Rachael Ray—in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn to provide temporary sheltering for hundreds of animals displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20060731/NYM024LOGO )

The ASPCA is working in collaboration with Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C), the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, NYC Veterinary Emergency Response Team (NYCVERT), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Veterinary Response Team (NVRT) on the management of the emergency boarding facility, which will be open for 30 days.

"We recognize the great need to help pet owners during this difficult time by temporarily caring for their animals while they get back on their feet," said Tim Rickey, senior director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. "The ASPCA is working with local and national animal welfare agencies to assist animals affected by the storm, and we're grateful to have these valued partners helping us manage the emergency boarding facility and provide relief for both people and pets alike."

As a member of the New York City Office of Emergency Management's Animal Planning Task Force*, the ASPCA is fielding calls through the Hurricane Sandy pet hotline (347-573-1561) to assist pet owners and those who are interested in helping animal victims of the storm. Local and national groups including the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, Wayside Waifs, Louisiana SPCA, Sumter DART and Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation will have responders on the ground to assist with the daily care of the animals at the ASPCA emergency boarding facility. Additionally, NYCVERT and NVRT will be providing veterinary medical support for owned animals sheltered at the facility.

Pet owners who need temporary sheltering for their pets should bring, along with their pet, one government-issued photo ID (i.e. driver's license, passport, military ID, or non-driver ID) and a proof of address (i.e. utility bill, driver's license). If possible, we encourage people to have their pets wearing ID tags in a carrier or crate, vaccination records, and medications or supplies for pets with special needs.

Pets in need of temporary housing will be accepted at the following location:

ASPCA Emergency Boarding Facility
1508 Herkimer Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11233
Open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Over the next few days, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals will transport owned animals from the evacuation centers in NYC to the ASPCA's emergency boarding facility. Owned animals that have been temporarily housed at an auxiliary shelter established at Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Brooklyn will also be transported to the facility by Mayor's Alliance Wheels of Hope transport vans and the ASPCA's transport trailer.

"We will continue our disaster relief work to help animal victims in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and hope that the emergency boarding facility will allow pet owners to focus on rebuilding their lives," added Rickey. "It will take time, but we will work as a community, and the ASPCA will continue to provide ongoing assistance, personnel and resources as long as we're needed."

Since the storm, the ASPCA has been in Sandy-affected areas to rescue and reunite animals with their families, distribute critical supplies and provide veterinary care for animals impacted. More than 300 animals have been rescued by ASPCA responders, and through pet supply distribution and mobile wellness clinics, the ASPCA has assisted nearly 16,000 animals in New York City and Long Island combined. The ASPCA also mobilized its Disaster Response team to conduct water and land search-and-rescue operations for pets. Additionally, the ASPCA partnered with PetSmart Charities, Inc. to provide pet supplies including crates, pet food, cat litter, leashes and other goods to thousands of pet owners throughout the region. Other groups who have contributed to pet food distribution include the American Red Cross, New York Yankees, Hugo Neu Corporation, Del Monte Foods, Purina, IAMS and Mars.

The $500,000 donation is made possible by the sale of Ms. Ray's pet food brand Nutrish®. In addition, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, the company that makes Ray's pet food line Nutrish®, has donated four tons of wet and dry dog food to be distributed to hungry animals in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Since its inception in 2008, Ray has donated 100 percent of her proceeds from the sale of Nutrish® to shelters and organizations like the ASPCA, so they can implement programs like these and support shelters around the country. To date, Ray has donated more than $3 million in proceeds from the sale of Nutrish® to help animals in need.

The ASPCA has provided grant funding to more than a dozen animal welfare groups throughout New Jersey and New York for post-storm recovery and relief efforts. Animal welfare groups needing disaster relief assistance are encouraged to apply for a grant at http://www.aspcapro.org/aspca-grants.php.

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team frequently responds to natural disasters, including other major events like Hurricane Irene and the Joplin, Mo. tornado in 2011, Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008 and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, in addition to being called upon by state and municipal governments and other animal welfare partners to lend expertise during large-scale animal rescue operations.

For the latest updates on the ASPCA's response for Hurricane Sandy, please visit http://blog.aspca.org/content/how-prepare-your-pets-hurricane-sandy.

*The Animal Planning Task Force includes representatives from the ASPCA, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, AC&C, NYC Veterinary Emergency Response Team, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, American Red Cross in Greater New York, Bideawee, Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Veterinary Medical Assistance Team One. 

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation's leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

About Animal Care & Control
Animal Care & Control of New York City (AC&C) is the largest pet organization in the North East, with nearly 40,000 animals rescued each year. As a non-profit organization since 1995, AC&C has been responsible for New York City's municipal shelter system; rescuing, caring for and finding loving homes for homeless and abandoned animals in New York City. AC&C facilities operate in all five boroughs to service all NYC communities.

About the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals®
The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, Inc., founded in 2002 and powered by Maddie's Fund®, The Pet Rescue Foundation, with support from the ASPCA, is a coalition of more than 150 animal rescue groups and shelters working with Animal Care & Control of New York City (AC&C) to end the killing of healthy and treatable cats and dogs at AC&C shelters. To achieve that goal, the Alliance, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, helps its Alliance Participating Organizations (APOs) work to their highest potential to increase pet adoptions and spay/neuter rates, with the goal of transforming New York City into a no-kill community by 2015. www.AnimalAllianceNYC.org.

About New York City Veterinary Emergency Response Team
The New York City Veterinary Emergency Response Team was founded in 2001 during the aftermath of 9/11. This volunteer network of veterinarians and animal health professionals is dedicated to the support of NYC's working and companion animals in times of disaster. When called upon by local government, NYCVERT will mobilize to triage, provide emergency medical treatment and medical boarding of affected pets and working canines.   Throughout the year, NYCVERT works closely with the OEM APTF to develop strategies that ensure the safety of NYC's animal population intimes of disaster.   NYCVERT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation www.NYCVERT.com.

About the National Veterinary Response Team
A National Veterinary Response Team is part of the National Disaster Medical System under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Veterinary team members come from non-government organizations and private practice and are called into federal service temporarily for disaster response and recovery. National Veterinary Response Teams can assess the veterinary medicine needs in a community after a disaster, treat and stabilize animals including law enforcement animals, conduct surveillance for animal diseases and diseases that can be transmitting between animals and people, and provide technical assistance to local officials on food and water safety issues for animals.

SOURCE ASPCA

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