Grateful residents — and their pets — welcomed North Shore Animal League America to East Rockaway on Nov. 15 when members of the no-kill shelter came to hand out pet food for those residents with hungry dogs and cats.
“People are overwhelmed,” said Byron Logan, Director of Corporate and National Shelter Outreach for NSALA. “After we received the donation form Purina PetCare of over 6,000 bags of dog and cat food, we’ve been to Island Park, Lindenhurst, Freeport, and now here, in East Rockaway to distribute it.” Logan and his associates set up the NSALA mobile unit outside of the Bethany Church, whose auditorium has been turned into a donation drop off and pick up relief center since Hurricane Sandy. Outside, dozens of pet owners thankfully took some food to take home to their “best friends” – or their friends’ and familys’ pets.
“This is so great, I can’t tell you what this means to us,” said Alice Barnes, who owns three cats. “I stayed at my house during the storm because of them, and I need to take care of them now more than ever. Thank you!”
Some residents were shy about taking food, but NSALA Manager of Pet Behavior/Rescue and East Rockaway resident Mike Malloy told them, “It’s just one less thing you have to worry about.”
A man who lives upstate was in town to help his mother, an 84-year-old longtime Bay Park resident. He took some food for his Labrador. “I can’t wait to get him back home so he can run around again.”
The NSALA associates and Mercy First students and their teacher took a smaller van to go into Bay Park. “It was really bad down there,” said Logan. “We’ve been to Lindenhurst, Freeport, Island Park … this is just as bad as anything we’ve seen.” While there, they left bags of food for people who were known to own pets. “If they weren’t home, we just left it at the door.”
For more information about NSALA and their Sandy relief efforts, visit www.animalleague.org