Last year, on the occasion of my birthday, I sat down and created a Face book event to raise money for Project Pets and their Spay and Neuter initiatives. It was such a success that I decided to do it again. I contacted an animal advocate I greatly admire who works out of his home in the Midwest and invited him to be the fund’s recipient. He declined and said, “Do something to help the displaced pets of Hurricane Sandy.” I knew that Laura Pople of Seer Farms in Jackson, NJ was doing just that. So, as I turn 40 (again) I am asking my friends to help us all out here on the East Coast. The storm may be gone but its “Legacy” endures and will for some time to come.
I thank my Midwest advocate friend for his generous spirit and for what he accomplishes for many animals in need on a shoe string. He wishes to remain anonymous. Many of our large “helping” organizations could learn a lot from him. So many of you ask me how they can help those who are trying to recover from the Super Storm. Here is an easy and simple way.
I have created a Face book event, but here is the Chip In Link for Seer Farms. Please earmark your donation with the note, “LBK Birthday Fund.” Thank you for anything you can give. http://www.seerfarms.org/donate.php
Now here are a few words from Laura:
For Hurricane Sandy victims, their pets are all that many of these families have left of their homes. Seer Farms has been working to keep these families intact since the days immediately following the storm. To date, more than 200 displaced Sandy animals have found temporary refuge at Seer Farms while their families rebuild their lives and their houses. Already more than half of these animals have returned home.
Seer Farms is a nonprofit organization in New Jersey that was established in 2008 to help families whose lives have been shattered due to natural disaster, homelessness, abuse, catastrophic illness, and other major life crises. We are located in Jackson, in the heart of Ocean County, one of the hardest hit counties in NJ by Sandy. Super Storm Sandy has destroyed so many homes in New Jersey. Seer Farms is helping to ensure that it doesn’t destroy families as well. And we are doing so even as we continue to provide temporary care to families impacted by other life crises as well.
Since Sandy first struck the Jersey Shore, Seer Farms has been getting calls and emails from families with pets who cannot return to their homes. Or whose homes are no longer there to return to. Families who can seek temporary placement for themselves through FEMA or family often cannot have their animals join them in the temporary housing they secure. These families are overwhelmed by the enormity of the change wrought upon their lives by Super Storm Sandy, and the thought of losing their beloved animals is often too much to bear.
For some families with no place to go, they are choosing to stay in inadequate housing conditions, but want to make sure their animals are safe. These animals have been through traumatic events that, in many cases, stress their immune systems and compromise their health. They need the attention of an organization that understands their medical risks, and works with veterinarians to return these animals to good health. At Seer Farms, they get that attention.
Our focus is on helping these families keep their animals in their lives. Our current census is now at 135% what it was pre-Sandy. We are placing as many animals as we can within our current facilities and extending our foster network to accept the overflow. Another dozen animals are scheduled to arrive at Seer Farms within the next week, and we expect to see even more as families reconcile with the devastation SuperStorm Sandy visited upon their homes and lives and are forced from FEMA housing into new, often less pet-friendly housing arrangements beginning next week.
One Seer Farms’ client, whose Jersey Shore home was essentially washed away by the storm, gives this chilling account of her Super Storm Sandy experience: “My animals are my family. I could not leave them. Four times [before and during the storm] rescuers came to my house and asked me to leave. But they wouldn’t take my animals so I stayed behind. The storm hit and the water rushed in. Soon everything but the top of my mattress was under water. It was pitch dark as the water kept rising. I heard a splash and realized that one of my cats had fallen into the water. I started thrashing in the water to find her. When I did so, my dog launched into the water after me. Now I was trying to pull both animals from the cold water. After both animals were rescued and safe, I realized I couldn’t let myself fall asleep. I had to stay awake in case anyone else fell in. Sure enough, two more times throughout the night I had to pull my babies from what would have been certain drowning if I had not stayed.”
This woman loves her pets; she risked her life for them. Seer Farms is helping her put her life back together by providing a safe place for her pets to stay until she can rebuild and reclaim them.
Thank you Laura, for all you and your organization do! I hope this helps.