For many the effects of Hurricane Sandy have been devastating. The loss of lives. The loss of possessions and for some, not having their beloved pets with them. It's a heartbreaking situation for animals and their owners.
"It's sad. It's overwhelming. A couple of days ago they were in a warm house with their family and now suddenly they are in a shelter situation in a cage," said Sean Casey of Sean Casey Animal Rescue. "They're surrounded by barking dogs. They don't know where their family is or how they ended up here."
In the midst of the storm, there has been help for many pet owners who have lost their homes. Organizations like Sean Casey Animal Rescue are offering support.
"There's one woman who we helped her animals had been in the house for 3 or 4 days after the storm just in water, muck and oil. She had very large dogs and she couldn't find anyone to take them- so we took them in here... And when she is able to rebuild she will get those animals back," explains Casey.
With the help of the ASPCA and other pet rescue organizations, Sean Casey's team has taken in dozens of displaced pets until their owners are able to get on their feet again and be reunited.
"The owners have been keeping in touch. We've been getting daily calls. How's my dog. Did he eat today," he said. "Did he drink, is he sleeping alright? How many walks did he have. They want to know everything about their pet. They miss them. They want them home already but they are not in a position to take them. Almost every conversation I've had end with someone crying. These animals are loved, these animals have owners and it's important to us to make sure that they go back home."
From the outside, it's a modest-looking facility in Brooklyn, but inside are dedicated employees, devoting hours of their time to create a make-shift home for so many dogs and cats in need.
"Space is filling up very quickly. We do want to help as many animals as possible but unfortunately space is limited. We are doing everything we can," Casey said. "A lot of the pets here are still somewhat shell-shocked from their ordeals. And of course missing their families, but pet owners can be assured they are getting the best of care."
Casey said: "When they come in they get checked by a vet and make sure everybody is healthy. We clean a lot of these guys up. Especially the ones that have come out of broad channel and the Rockaways."
And Sean Casey's organization isn't alone. The Bluepearl Veterinary partners on the Upper East Side kept their doors open 24 hours a day through Sandy to care for sick pets. Many animal hospitals and offices were without electricity or flooded in Manhattan forcing owners to seek care at places still open like BluePearl. The employees here and Sean both agree all of their efforts are labors of love.
"I've always loved doing this. I've always loved the animals," Casey said.