CUTE ALERT: Meet a 7-week-old Hurricane Sandy refugee!

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I’m one of the lucky ones in New York City. My house still has power and we didn’t suffer any flood damage. Many other pet-rescuers are in need of help as they deal with the repercussions of the superstorm. Even some pet-passionate people are finding themselves sudden rescuers, like my friends Julie and Zane.

This kitten — now dubbed “Sandy” — was found crying in a tree during Hurricane Sandy in New York.

Julie and Zane are fellow New Yorkers and proud cat parents. On Monday, they were sitting at home when Julie “heard a tiny meow.” At first, Julie didn’t think much of it. The storm was coming in, the wind was blowing hard and there’s always an abundance of feral cats in our neighborhood. (I hear territorial battles outside my window regularly.)

A little while later Julie heard another meow, “but a lot louder and more distressed-sounding,” Julie says. So they headed out into the storm. “Up at the top of the short tree near our porch we saw this tiny bundle — it was a kitten and boy could she mew!”

After a lot of coaxing, a few scratches and some help from the neighbors, Julie and Zane managed to get the kitten — now dubbed “Sandy” — out of the rain and nestled into a warm towel in their bathroom. They even got Sandy to eat a bit after calling me for advice.

Julie reports that Sandy’s doing great now. She’s been to the vet, gotten a clean bill of health and was scanned for a microchip — which she unfortunately doesn’t have. The vet thinks she’s about seven weeks old.

Julie and Zane will be posting found-pet fliers soon and are taking good care of Sandy in the meantime. If they’re unable to locate Sandy’s family, Sandy even has a possible adopter — a fellow refugee who evacuated to Julie and Zane’s house when her own was in the flood zone.

People often ask me why I work to help pets when so many people in this world are in need. But helping pets and people isn’t mutually exclusive. During Hurricane Katrina, we saw many people choosing to stay behind with their pets because their pets weren’t welcome in shelters. The problem was so widespread that the federal government passed the PETS Act in 2006, requiring states and local governments to include plans for people with pets and service animals in their disaster plans.

Julie and Zane’s story is another perfect example — they took in two Hurricane Sandy refugees, one just happened to have four legs and a tail. And now those two refugees are getting comfort in a time of need. What could be better than that?

Ok, I’m getting off my soap box now… Here are some more pictures of Sandy!

Fellow Hurricane Sandy refugee Katy tries to coax a wet Sandy to eat something.

Sandy looks warily at the camera.

Sandy’s all warm and dry after a harrowing day.

If you or someone you know comes across a loose or lost pet in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, please be sure to follow the advice in our lost pet infographic below. Be safe and thank you for helping.

Please share this graphic to help pets lost during Hurricane Sandy.