Temporary animal shelter set up for Sandy victims

November 15, 2012 6:55:09 AM PST
An animal shelter for people to drop their animals off at temporarily while they find new homes after Hurricane Sandy has been set up on Long Island.

Robin Rahiley lost everything when Sandy's surge destroyed her house.

"He's my best friend," Rahiley said.

She lost everything but Sakaya, her 3-year-old Siberian husky. He's all she has left.

Eyewitness News watched as the two said good bye.

"It's killing me. Absolutely killing me. I've been hysterical for hours before I brought him here," Rahiley said.

With no place to turn after the storm, Robin and hundreds of others have found themselves unable to take care of their pets as they try to get back on their feet.

So they're taking them to a temporary shelter run by Nassau County and the North Shore Animal League.

It's a free, safe, dry place where 250 dogs, cats, and even a few turtles, have found a place to stay as their families find new homes.

"Either they've lost their home, their belongings, we just want to ease their minds let them know their pets will be taken care of while they try to get their lives back together," said Lindsay Calabrese, North Shore Animal League.

They've set up shop on a county basketball court near the Nassau Coliseum.

Volunteer workers are using donated supplies.

Pet owners are allowed to visit as often as they want, until they can take their pets back for good.

Robin Rahiley doesn't know how long she and Sakaya will be homeless, but she sure is grateful her baby has a safe place to stay.

"Hopefully we'll find a place real soon. We will," Rahiley said.

The shelter is located right near the Nassau Coliseum and it's slated to stay open through the end of the month, at least.

They are still looking for volunteers to help take care of the animals.

If you are interested in volunteering, please email emergencypetshelter@gmail.com with your name, contact information and availability.

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