Kinship Circle Rescues: When Water Comes - Amazing Sandy Survivor Stories
An Animal Rights Article from


Kinship Circle
November 2012

Kinship Circle coordinates emergency sheltering for animals displaced by Hurricane Sandy. These animals live in a trailer as part of a Red Cross Shelter at Rutgers-New Brunswick University in Piscataway, NJ. When we concluded sheltering and search-rescue for Atlantic County, NJ, Middlesex Office of Emergency Management requested our help. Many animals and people here lost homes to Sandy floodwaters.

Volunteers monitor symptoms of illness that can spread quickly among stressed animals in cramped quarters. At least three cats were taken to an animal hospital for respiratory infection. The university, however, won’t let animals come indoors. Human survivors find solace in visits to the trailer. Below are amazing stories of survival.

Angel's Miracle

pet rescue Kinship Circle Brenda Shoss

Two weeks. It can’t be possible. A miracle? The tiny black kitten is found in a neighbor’s Sea Bright apartment, just 10 homes from the boardwalk. Angel is alive, despite weeks alone in Sandy’s ruins. For Ruth, who recently lost her fiancee, the reunion is beyond words. She holds the kitten against her heart and cries into his fur. This evening, Ruth sleeps through the night for the first time since the storm.

Monica, Rosco, Magic, Heather and Sisco

One hour to evacuate! Monica hears her neighbor, yet can’t believe the small window given to flee her home with cats Rosco (photo above), Magic, Heather and Sisco. She’s just back from a grocery run when the water comes. Icy waves rise 4 to 5 feet inside homes. Monica quickly bundles each terrified kitty in a blanket. One by one she carries them to her car, where they live for days till animal-friendly shelter is found…

Monica, a Colorado native, had recently relocated to South River, NJ. When Sandy destroyed her 100-year old home, Monica sought refuge with animal-friendly shelters (most evacuee shelters still do not accept animals).

"Today is my best day here because I had such a great time with my cats," Monica (in photo) told us. Shortly after arrival, Kinship Circle’s Bonnie and Evelyn organized the trailer to best serve animal needs. If you are a cat, for example, you are freaked out to find yourself inches away from unfamiliar dogs. When Monica stopped by to see her felines, Bonnie and Evelyn temporarily covered dog cages with a blanket. This emboldened the cats to cuddle and play with Monica.

Christy and Nanook

The first time Christy saved Nanook, the inbred "chi-weenie" was to be killed by a backyard breeder. At 7-weeks, Nanook had a deformed breast bone and bleak fate. Christy threatened to alert authorities unless the breeder gave her the teacup Chihuahua-Dachshund. The second time Christy saved Nanook, they were trapped by huge waves on the second floor of their Sayerville, New Jersey home…

Christy, her two kids, and Nanook were stranded for three days after Sandy engulfed their community. When Christy saw her neighbor’s two cats afloat in sewage water, she swam over to save them too. They made it to Sayerville Senior Center for short-term shelter. Christy was then sent to Sayer Brook Animal Hospital to board Nanook at no cost while the family stayed at Piscataway Red Cross Shelter.

When Christy saw the trailer where Kinship Circle cares for evacuee animals, she rushed back to get Nanook. The boarding facility gave Christy her dog, along with a $400 bill. Fortunately, county authorities waived her bill. Christy, who suffers from brain cancer that has advanced to her spine, is relieved her family is together now. At first Nanook was too traumatized to eat or drink and shed excessively from stress. Since cared for by Kinship Circle and local volunteers, Nanook has bounced back!

For more amazing rescue stories and to DONATE to facilitate more rescues, visit Kinship Circle!

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