Hazardous Toxins and Winter Elements Threaten Abandoned Animals

 The Aftermath of Super Storm Sandy

The recovery and rebuilding of New York and the surrounding area is still in effect as the East Coast rebounds from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. In late October 2012, Mayor Bloomberg ordered 375,000 people to evacuate from low-lying areas in New York, including Staten Island and the Rockaways. Thousands of homes, buildings and schools were abandoned in the storm and now, people are reporting sightings of pets being left at the destroyed homes to guard belongings, tied up in backyards or having been forgotten in the chaos of Hurricane Sandy. The destroyed homes are unlivable and contain toxic hazards, such as mold, that can cause serious health issues.
“People don’t realize that their destroyed homes can be severely harmful to their pets,” president and founder of Guardians of Rescue, Robert Misseri stated. “These helpless animals don’t have a voice and we, as a community, need to pull together to provide them with that voice, support and the help that they desperately need.” 
According to the Center of Disease Control, those affected by major hurricanes or flood probably will have exposure to a wide variety of hazardous substances distributed by or contained in the floodwater. Exposure to mold can occur through skin contact, inhalation or ingestion. 
Animals, as well as people, can be severely affected by exposure to mold. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, typical symptoms of mold exposure include:
1. Respiratory Problems: wheezing, asthma
2. Nasal and Sinus Congestion: running nose, dry, hacking       cough
3. Eye Irritation: burning, watery, redness 
4. Nose or Throat Irritation: sneezing fits, bloody noses
5. Skin Irritations: rashes or hives
6. Nervous System: headaches, memory loss, mood changes
7. Aches and Pains 
In these troubled and tumultuous times, we can’t forget our furry friends and the risks that they face in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. 
The Guardians of Rescue, a non-profit organization based in New York, is stepping in to save those animals from the dangers and health hazards that they are exposed to in their destructed environment. The volunteers have given out dog beds, blankets, dog and cat food and provided shelter to the abandoned animals. Owners are urged to keep their pets away from the destruction and dangerous environments until the area has been sanitized.
To learn more about Guardians of Rescue, visit the site at www.guardiansofrescue.org.
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