Hurricane Pets: Lost and Founds

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy in the eastern U.S., the Web can help families and their lost pets reunite.

Thanks to lessons learned after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, pets have a better chance of being found and sheltered today after Hurricane Sandy made her debut in New York. All the animal shelters in the area are making room for rescued pets, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They report that the shelters in New York are temporary homes to about 400 pets each.

If you have a loved one in this area who is missing a pet, you can help them right from your laptop. If you’ve found a pet lost after Hurricane Sandy, websites can also help you reunite them with their owners. If you have spare blankets, towels, money or time, you might be able to help directly. Contact the shelter nearest you to see if they need volunteers.

Here are some resources to get you started:

1. If you’ve evacuated with your pet, find listings of all the pet-friendly shelters in the area by using the Global Animal and Examiner websites.

2. To help families and pets reunite, use all the different forms of “social media”—WebPages, e-mail and other internet-based messaging tools. This is something that friends and loved ones who are safe from the storm can help with. A Facebook page has been made for lost animals: “Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets.” This Facebook page is uploading information and pictures of the rescued pets found in shelters. So far, since Oct. 28, the page already has tens of thousands of “likes,” a feature that enables Facebook users to spread the word about this resource to help connect others. Find the Facebook page here.

There are also other forms of social media that are being used to reconnect owners and pets. On Craigslist, ads are being created for lost pets. Also, Twitter-users have created the hashtag, #SandyPets, for lost pets.

3. We found one hotline for people in New York City who had to leave a pet behind. If you need help rescuing your pet, call the Humane Society hotline: 347-573-1561.

4. If you have found an animal displaced from the storm, first please find some shelter to keep it safe until you can find its owner. Next, look for a collar or form of identification. If a vet is available near you, take the animal there to see if it has a microchip. If the animal does not have a chip, the next thing would be to report the displaced pet and use the social media forms listed above to get the pet’s information out.

If you know of other resources to help reunite pets and their families, please let us know. We’ll do our best to get accurate, helpful information out.

Best wishes to all who are still dealing with Hurricane Sandy.

Do you have any intersting stories about your pets and the hurricane? Share with us in the comments!

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