Originally published: November 30 2012
By Dan Glaun. Great Neck News
Vol. 72, No. 48
For a scan of the original article Click Here


PHOTO BY NAOMI GARFINKEL Maya Garfinkel of Thomaston with one of the many kittens up for adoption at the Animal Lovers League of Glen Cove. The shelter took in over 25 animals in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Naomi and James Garfinkel, owners of the Pet Sitters Club, organized a relief drive for the Animal Lovers League of Glen Cove
Amidst the human cost of Hurricane Sandy, Nassau County’s smaller; furrier residents suffered as well – and one Great Neck couple decided to make a difference.Naomi and James Garfinkel, the owners of pet-care business the Pet Sitters Club, organized a relief drive for the region’s animals that were affected by the storm.

“We were hearing about a tremendous need – phone, letters, Facebook – of animals in shelters,” said Naomi Garfinkel. “From a flooding standpoint, we thought there was something we could do personally.

On Nov. 17, the Garfinkels sent out messages to their customers asking for their contributions – for the crates, bedding, pet food and monetary donations needed to help support shelters stretched thin by the number of cats and dogs left homeless by Sandy.

A week later, they delivered two truckloads of supplies to the Animal Lovers League of Glen Cove.”The response was incredible,” Garfinkel said.

Joan Phillips, the president of the Animal Lovers League, said the donation was a much needed gesture for the shelter, which she said took in an additional 27 animals because of the storm.

“I was absolutely thrilled,” she said. “I was touched and I thought it was absolutely wonderful.”

The shelter, powered by a gas generator, stayed open and heated throughout the hurricane, Phillips said, and took in animals ranging from injured strays to pets whose owners had to seek alternative housing due to storm damage.

The strain on the shelter’s resources was considerable, she said – pets had to be fed and strays had to be given vaccinations.

“Our resources our towels, our blankets, our beds, everything – were being used,” said Phillips.All the pets dropped off by displaced families in the storm’s aftermath have since been reunited with their owners, according to Phillips, but the shelter is still caring for strays rescued during Sandy.

And the Garfinkels efforts are continuing.

“We have decided to continue collecting and will likely benefit another shelter, not just Glen Cove Animals League,” Garfinkel said.

The Pet Sitters Club is collecting blankets and towels, crates, dog and cat food or treats and pet toys, and is offering to pick up donations; they can be reached at petsit4u@petsit4u.com, or by phone at 516 466 5617. Pets Boutique in Manhasset is also a drop off location for contributions.