Hurricane-impacted cats, dogs find owners at Adoptapalooza

Dena Spinelli, a volunteer with rescue organization Husky House with Jake, a now-healthy husky that was rescued from a puppy mill (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Sunday afternoon, over 400 cats and dogs in need of homes were brought to Union Square Park for Adoptapalooza, an event held by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and the Petco Foundation. A constant stream of animal lovers, many considering adopting or fostering new pets, filled the park’s north end, which was lined with booths manned by shelter volunteers as well as a few booths for games, pet photos and caricatures as well as a grass field.

Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance, said at Adoptapalooza events, it’s typical for around 200 animals to get adopted.

“The value of it is it creates awareness,” said Hoffman, who also said it’s become a popular destination for families. This year, the event took on some extra urgency though thanks to a flurry of homeless pets from Florida and Texas following the hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

“When we had Superstorm Sandy, we had groups fly out of parts of the country and help us,” Hoffman said. “With Harvey and Irma, our groups stepped up to help them.”

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Opinion: Tale of two cities

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

In 2012, New York City and Lower Manhattan in particular were swallowed up by Super Storm Sandy. The unprecedented rainfall left whole communities literally underwater for days and without electricity or steam heat for a week. The loss to local businesses was catastrophic. Repairs and renovations from the storm lasted for years. In fact, the work on the L subway line, which will cause some major disruptions, is directly related to the damage caused by the flooding of the subway tunnels. The costs soared into the tens of billions for the New York-New Jersey region.

Federal disaster assistance was applied for, which requires Congressional approval. Such financial help is common after devastating tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, droughts and other natural disasters. The response from Washington, DC is usually sympathetic, swift, and bi-partisan. That is until Texas Senator Ted Cruz got involved.

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Paws & Relax owners helping dogs in Texas

Sept7 Paws and Relax GoFundMe

Seeing photos like this one inspired the business owners to help dogs impacted by Harvey.

By Sabina Mollot

Jon Huston and Steve Carroll, the owners of dog daycare center Paws & Relax on Avenue B, have set their sights on the animals left on their own following the flooding caused by Harvey. The owners of the business, both former residents of Stuyvesant Town as well as Peter Cooper Village, set up a GoFundMe page on Tuesday in the hope of raising $2,500 to send food to dogs in Texas who’ve been rescued after being abandoned or lost. By Friday at 9 a.m., the campaign exceeded its goal, totaling $2,850.

On Thursday afternoon, Town & Village spoke with Huston, who confirmed the effort had “taken off like wildfire.” At that point, the campaign had raised $2,440.

Huston said he and Carroll started the GoFundMe page after hearing about many animals who’d been stranded after their owners fled their homes.

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