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Cortland/Ithaca

ASPCA mobile shelter takes in pets

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: ASPCA mobile shelter takes in pets
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The ASPCA is trying to help displaced families by taking in dozens of pets. Our Natasha Ghoneim has details.

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- Four-year-old Pluto and seven-year old Poppy shook and whined for attention as they arrived at Miller Field on Staten Island. With tails wagging, they waited as their owner took care of paperwork that will send them away for the next 30 days.

Evelyn Parrinrillo and her two sons have been forced out of their home due to extensive flood damage. The apartment they are living in for the time being is not dog-friendly, so her other "boys" need a temporary home.

"We're like in survivor mode," said Parrinrillo. "I needed to have my dogs settled so I can concentrate on rebuilding my house, getting back in there and getting back to a family again."

For three days, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals drove a mobile unit out to the areas affected most by Hurricane Sandy.

Pluto and Poppy will join animals ranging from ferrets to parakeets at a shelter in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where they will receive free care, including a check-up and they will participate in what the ASPCA calls "enrichment programs" to stimulate them.

By Wednesday afternoon, displaced families had dropped off 150 pets and the number was expected to grow.

"I'm proud as a New Yorker that we're able to respond to animals in such a way," said Joel Lopez of ASPCA. "In disasters the thought is to focus on humans, which it should be. But often animals are forgotten. They're part of everyone's families."

By the time Pluto and Poppy ended up in crates, they had figured out this was not a fun outing after being cooped up in a moldy house for days. They were not the only ones feeling the pain of separation Sandy has forced upon so many families.

"It's very hard because I know they're going to be in good care," said Parrinrillo.

Pets can also be dropped off directly at the Brooklyn shelter.

To find temporary housing for a pet, visit aspca.org or call the Hurricane Sandy Pet Hotline at 1-347-573-1561.

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