During these last few stressful, tempest-tossed days, a little tender loving care, a warm bed and kibble can go a long, long way.
Judging by how Princess responded, the once-agitated white Shih-zu was in a better state of mind Thursday afternoon under the doting care of volunteers from the Lehigh Valley County Animal Response Team at the 24-hour animal shelter established at Western Salisbury Fire Department's Eisenhower Avenue station.
The center will relocate at 8 a.m. Friday to the shelter at Dieruff High School, 815 N. Irving St., Allentown (use Jerome Street entrance in back of building).
"She misses her family," said Brian Hite, a volunteer at the center, who helped calm the little dog whose family was also displaced by Hurricane Sandy after a power outage forced them from their home.
The devastating storm that tore through the Lehigh Valley Monday and Tuesday has been a disorienting and at times frightening experience for people and their pets displaced from their homes.
That's when the animal shelters and care provided by volunteers from the county group, LVCART, show how valuable they are to the community.
They are part of a network of state and local animal response teams created in 2007 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after the loss of thousands of animals from hurricanes Katrina and Floyd.
At the time, many regions did not have emergency plans for pets. "There are just horrible stories," said Donna Lagomarsino, public information officer for LVCART. "But lessons were learned."
Lagomarsino suggests if circumstances allow, pet owners should bring at least a week's worth of food for their pet to the center and something familiar or comforting to the pet, such as a favorite blanket, toy or bed,"so it feels like they are at home."
Owners should bring the pet's medication and medical and vaccination, if possible. "It helps us know more about the pet, so if there is an emergency and we have to provide information to a veterinarian, at least we have it," she said.
Hite, who dutifully notes everything from what time he walks a dog, to when it "peed and pooed," says the five dogs at the shelter are considerably less anxious than when they were brought there from the now-closed shelter at the Agri-Plex in Allentown.
"Everyone is eating good now. The first day it was a little bit of a struggle," he said.
If the days and nights turn colder, he anticipates seeing more animals being brought to the shelter.