Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Veterinary Clinic Aims to Alleviate Burden of Hurricane Sandy

Residents of the Northeast are still hurting from Hurricane Sandy, but pet owners have been given a resource that will hopefully help alleviate some of the financial burden. Julian Omidi discusses the veterinary clinic that was organized in Staten Island that provided free medical services to local pets.

In times of environmental crisis, when homes and businesses have been destroyed and even lives lost, it is very easy and perhaps natural to forget the welfare of the animals affected by the devastation. However, a group of veterinarians throughout the Northeast region hasn’t forgotten, and has organized several veterinary care events for people whose expenses have grown too great to give the pets the care that they need in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.1

The event, which took place June 29th and was the fourth in four months, recruited veterinary offices throughout Staten Island so that pet owners could get their dogs, cats and other animals checked and vaccinated, as well as the proper medications and bloodwork performed. The Complete Care Veterinary Center, Richmond Valley Veterinary Practice, the Northside Animal Hospital and the New York City Veterinary Emergency Response Team all took part in the event.

The stress of Hurricane Sandy has caused medical issues for residents and their pets. Many of the pet owners visiting the clinic have animals that haven’t been able to afford their pets’ medications, or were unable to give their pets their regular exercise due to the fact that they have been displaced from their homes, or their yards aren’t useable. Because many homes now have to be elevated in order to be in compliance with new insurance requirements, families simply don’t have the funds for pet care needs.

After the storm, there were numerous pets running loose and scared, lost and often injured. The population of animals separated from their homes and owners were not only a danger to themselves, but also to people, since nervous animals are often aggressive animals. Fortunately, the animal welfare organizations were able to step up and rescue many of the lost animals, often using social media as a very effective tool.

Even though Hurricane Sandy made landfall more than 9 months ago, there are still hundreds of animals looking for a permanent home after the storm.Animal rescue organizations are still taxed, and finding appropriate sheltering facilities is still a concern.Many pet owners were so overwhelmed by their circumstances that they had to give up pets that were a part of the family for years. Hopefully, the veterinary initiative will help financially strapped families keep their pets in loving homes.

1 Sedon, Michael: Pets of Hurricane Sandy Victims Get Free Care on Staten Island 6/29/1013

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