Hurricane Sandy Relief Information
The Humane Society of the United States
01/11/13, Submitted by Roger A. Kindler - Chief Legal Officer
Q 1: What is the approximate dollar amount of donations and pledges that
your organization has received to date in response to Hurricane Sandy?
A 1: HSUS does not solicit funds for use exclusively in any particular disaster. HSUS has
an established, dedicated fund-the Disaster Relief Fund-contributions to which are
spent on rescue and relief activities for both immediate and future disasters. For the
period October 25 through November 30, 2012, approximately $1.9 million were
contributed to the Disaster Relief Fund, including a relatively small
amount-c.$61,000-that was restricted by donors (on their own initiative) for uses
relating to Sandy. Those restrictions were, of course, honored.
Q 2: Will these funds be used solely for Hurricane Sandy relief? If not,
approximately what portion will be used for Hurricane Sandy relief and
what other purposes will funds be used for?
A 2: Donations to the Disaster Relief Fund are, unless restricted by the donor, used for
rescue and relief activities both in any immediate disaster as well as in future
disasters. In early November, 2012, HSUS budgeted approximately $706,000 for
Sandy-related relief activities. Budgeted items included field staff (contractors'
fees), travel and hotel expenses for HSUS employees and volunteers, animal care
supplies/food, the costs of boarding animals, related equipment, fuel, leasing
expenses for field facilities, veterinary care, call center expenses, and grants to
Q 3: Approximately how much has your organization spent to date on Hurricane
A 3: Supplemental information (February 11,2013): As of December 31,2012, HSUS has spent
$659,502 on Hurricane Sandy relief, including $79,600 in grants to other
organizations, some of which are committed but not yet paid.
Supplemental infonnation (January 11,2013): Based on expense data available through
November 30, 2012, $321,521. has been spent. That total (I) does not include
approximately $70,000 in grants to local shelters and (2) will increase as HSUS staff
expense reports and bills from third-parties continue to be received and paid. (My
letter to Jason Lilien of December 10,2012 has turned out to be optimistic in terms of
the date by which Sandy-related expenditures can be fully accounted for. We expect to
have a complete compilation of Sandy-related expenses for 2012 by the end of this
month, and will supplement our responses by February 11,2013.)
Q 4: What services has your organization provided to those affected by Hurricane
Sandy? What populations or geographical areas are being served by your
organization in response to Hurricane Sandy? What services does it expect to
provide in the future?
A 4: In response to Hurricane Sandy, HSUS responded in and to three of the hardest hit
areas in New Jersey and New York-Ocean and Monmouth Counties, New Jersey, and Nassau
County, New York. We worked with emergency management officials and law enforcement in
the three counties to rescue more than 350 animals stranded or displaced because of
the storm, cared for more than 700 evacuated pets in three emergency shelters, and
reunited more than 400 pets with their owners. We deployed more than 140 HSUS staff
and volunteers to rescue and care for the animals, helped set up four distribution
centers for needed supplies, and partnered with more than 30 private organizations and
government agencies in New York and New Jersey to help families reunite or stay with
In Nassau County, HSUS partnered with Nassau County Emergency Management, North Shore
Animal League, Nassau County SPCA, and the Pet Safe Coalition to care for more than
400 pets in an emergency animal shelter at Garden City. The shelter was operated to
provide families made homeless by the storm with a place to take their pets while the
families recover. HSUS assisted with the care of the animals at the Garden City
facility soon after the storm hit and, as part of our partnership, we provided more
than 40 trained staff and volunteers; arranged for needed pet care supplies (food,
bedding, kennels, etc.) through Pet Smart Charities, vendors hired by HSUS, and other
partners; and provided professional guidance on shelter, disease and volunteer
management in a disaster situation.
More, specifically, HSUS initially assisted at the Nassau operation with moving the
shelter to a larger facility. We transported animals, crates and other supplies, and
helped set up the new shelter with puppy pads, clean dishes, fresh water and the
appropriate paperwork. Every day at the. Nassau facility, HSUS staff and volunteers
and staff walked dogs at least twice a day, deep cleaned all kennels in the morning
and spot cleaned later in the day, provided fresh food and water, filled out daily
care sheets, and assisted with owner visits and reclaims. We also provided specialized
daily care to exotic animals such as ferrets, turtles, birds, fish, rabbits and guinea
pigs. Other tasks included answering calls from owners on the shelter phone line,
cleaning the dog walk and visitor area, organizing the supply room, organizing
community donations, and cleaning the break area and bathrooms.
Outside Nassau County, we worked with our partners in the New York City Office of
Emergency Management Animal Planning Task Force to run a toll-free hotline and (along
with staff and volunteers from other organizations) accepted more than 1,000 calls for
assistance which we referred to appropriate law enforcement.
In New Jersey, we worked with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and the
Governor's Office to establish and staff a toll-free hotline for people who were
forced to leave their pets behind when they evacuated because of Sandy, handling more
than 1,700 calls. The HSUS also entered into agreements with emergency management
authorities in Ocean and Monmouth Counties to do animal sheltering and rescue of pets
impacted by the storm. We initially operated an emergency animal shelter in each
county. Eventually, all animals in Monmouth were transferred to our Ocean County
facility. HSUS rescued 352 stranded pets from devastated areas of New Jersey; 302 from
Ocean County and 50 pets from Monmouth, and we sheltered more than 300, including
animals rescued from strandings, animals transferred from other emergency shelters,
and animals brought in by their owners. Our Ocean County facility closed on December
3rd after 267 animals were returned to their owners, at least 47 were placed in a
long-term foster care program, and a small number were placed with partner shelters
Q 5: Has your organization provided funding to other organizations for Hurricane
Sandy relief efforts? If so, which organizations have received those funds
and what is the approximate dollar amount provided to them? How does
your organization determine the need for funding?
A 5: Because we worked on an official basis with state and local emergency management in
New Jersey, we committed to assisting local, existing shelters in that state that were
directly impacted by the storm -- either because they suffered significant structural
or other damage or because they were having to respond to increased need for services
in their community. St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, in Madison, for example,
developed a critical foster program and helping families not surrender their pets. To
date, HSUS has committed at least $20,000 in grants to St. Hubert's. In addition, we
have committed more than $50,000 in additional grants (in the aggregate) to other
agencies in New Jersey including Monmouth County SPCA, Jersey Shore Animal Center,
Humane Society of Atlantic County, and various Ocean County shelters. HSUS will also
be reaching out to see if funding assistance is needed for shelters in New York State.
We have been coordinating with the ASPCA, however, and we understand the ASPCA is
covering many of the needs there.
Q 6: Has your organization provided, or does it intend to provide, direct financial
assistance to individuals, families or businesses for Hurricane Sandy relief?
If so, what is the approximate dollar amount that your organization
has provided to date and approximately how much direct financial assistance
does it expect to provide in the future? How does your organization
determine the need for assistance?
A 6: HSUS does not typically provide "direct financial assistance" in the sense of cash
grants, to individuals, families, or businesses. HSUS's approach is to respond to the
needs of animals affected by disasters by providing and/or paying for rescue
operations, shelter facilities, food and other supplies, and veterinary care (HSUS
pays the veterinarians directly for their services). Most of these animals belong to
individuals or families. Such emergency relief services are provided by HSUS without
charge. Therefore, a great deal of indirect financial assistance to individuals or
families is provided.
Q 7: Does your organization have a plan in place on how to use any surplus funds
not spent for Hurricane Sandy relief? If so, please describe that plan.
A 7: As explained above, the Disaster Relief Fund is a restricted fund that is drawn upon
as needs arise throughout the country due to specific events-floods, hurricanes,
fires, etc. The exact times and places of these needs and carmot be predicted ahead of
time, of course. So the "plan" for spending funds contributed to the Disaster Relief
Fund is based on a long-established rescue and relief program buttressed by a
dedicated fund. However, there are no "surplus" funds in a sense of donations
solicited or received specifically for Sandy, but not already spent for that purpose.