Pets displaced by Hurricane Sandy need volunteer assistance

Months after Sandy tore through Long Island, over 200 pets belonging to displaced residents are still being taken care of by volunteers at the Nassau County Emergency Pet Shelter.

“We started off with 450 pets when the storm hit, now we have about 250,” said Beverly Poppell, vice-president and executive director of Pet Safe Coalition. “We have about 120 cats, a bunny rabbit, 2 turtles a beta fish and the rest are dogs.”

The shelter is located in Garden City and is run mainly on volunteers of the Pet Safe Coalition. An organization that’s main goal is to help pets in disaster situations, like Hurricane Sandy. “We want pet owners to be responsible in these types of situations,” said Poppell. “Our motto is, ‘have a pet, have a plan.’”

Volunteer duties include cleaning litter boxes, feeding the pets, taking dogs for walks, cleaning cages and making sure the animals receive personal attention.

Volunteers have come from all over the country to assist in the running of the shelter. “Our volunteers are dedicated to these animals,” said Poppell. “We actually had a volunteer from California that was traveling cross-country on horseback and she made a detour here to help us!”