Helping Cats in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy


photo credit: Alley Cat Allies

The devastation caused by hurricane Sandy impacted pets living in the path of the storm, too. Perhaps some of the animals most affected are colonies of feral cats that had no place to weather the storm safely indoors, including a group of feral cats living in the Atlantic City Boardwalk area. Luckily, the folks at Alley Cat Allies, a national advocacy group dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, have been looking after these cats. Their Disaster Response Team arrived in Atlantic City on Wednesday to assess the situation and provide much needed assistance to cats and cat caregivers. This group reports that they have already accounted for more than half of the Atlantic City Boardwalk cats, and the cats are returning to the colony earlier than expected.

Because feral cats usually leave the area of a disaster and stay away until things begin to return to normal, their early return is good news. They also report that the cats seem healthy for the most part, although a little hungry. “We prepared prior to Sandy’s landfall, but we also knew from experience that these resourceful cats would instinctively head for higher ground and protect themselves,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies.  “More than half of the colony has already returned—we anticipated it might take a few days longer, but the cats were clearly ready to get back to their routine!”

The Atlantic City Boardwalk Cats Project which was launched in 2000 is one of the oldest TNR programs in the US. Alley Cat Allies is working hard to help rebuild the cat shelters and feeding stations, and provide assistance to those managing colonies of cats impacted by the storm. The team plans to be on the ground in Atlantic City for the next several days.

If you’d like to help, Alley Cat Allies gratefully accepts monetary donations, which are used to protect and improve the lives of cats. If you are in need of assistance, you should email info@alleycat.org or call 240-482-1980 ext. 330.  Alley Cat Allies is also coordinating volunteers via the same email address, and will work to get them where they are needed most to return feral cat colonies and caregivers to normalcy throughout the affected region.

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