RANCHO SANTA FE — The Helen Woodward Animal Center has stepped up to help animals impacted by super storm Sandy. The center has 60 dogs and cats available for adoption from animal shelters in New Jersey and New York after East Coast shelters became over burdened after the storm.
“After the hurricane hit, shelters were devastated,” Jessica Gercke, public relations manager for Helen Woodward Animal Center, said. “They had no power and no supplies.”
Some shelters had to close and relocate animals in their care. Other shelters stayed open and needed to make room to temporarily house pets of storm victims.
Fellow East Coast shelters helped ease a lot of the burden.
Jana Basinet of Claremont cuddles with puppies Asparagus and Potatoes. The Helen Woodward Animal Center has 60 dogs and cats available for adoption from animal shelters in New Jersey and New York following the storm. Photo by Promise Yee
The Helen Woodward Animal Center also reached out to help through its relationships with Delco SPCA in Pennsylvania and Sea World.
The Delco SPCA tracked down cats and dogs at high risk for euthanasia in New Jersey and New York.
Staff at SeaWorld Orlando, Fla., arranged for 60 dogs and cats to be flown out to California and volunteered to escort the animals on the plane.
The animals flew in pet carriers inside the passenger cabin of a chartered Southwest Airlines plane. Pilots and crew on the plane also volunteered their time.
SeaWorld San Diego and Helen Woodward Animal Center staff met the animals on the ground and transported them to the animal center.
“When they landed pilots were holding puppies and flight attendants were holding dogs and cats,” Gercke said. “It was a beautiful, emotional evening.”