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Paw it Forward to help pets and people affected by Dorian

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Valley Stream-based pet pantry non-profit Paw it Forward is teaming up with other pet charity groups across the Island to collect supplies to help pets and their owners in the Carolinas affected by Hurricane Dorian.

The hurricane, after pummeling the Bahamas, made landfall in North Carolina on Sept. 6, leading to extensive flooding and damage. To help the pets and families affected by the storm, Paw it Forward is setting up three collection sites across Nassau County for donations, which will be collected and sent south in a supply caravan in the coming weeks.

Paw it Forward founder Danielle Scala requested those interested to drop off pet food and supplies, which include items such as wee-wee pads, bowls, leashes, medication, crates, litter and more. The supplies do not have to be new, she said, but should be cleaned, and the most needed item, she said, is cat food.

“We like to help people who are in need, and when tragedy hits, we want to lend a paw to them and help,” Scala said. In addition to pet supplies, she is collecting toiletries for people who may be displaced as well.

Scala is teaming up with 16 other pet rescue organizations, including Posh Pets in Long Beach and the Suffolk-based Jacob’s Hope, which is setting up donation drop-off sites on the east end of the Island.

Jacob’s Hope founder Katrina Denning described their efforts as trying to address a “four-pronged problem” both pets and people face in the aftermath of a storm such as Dorian.

The first being pet owners who may be displaced or homeless, without the means to take care of their furry loved ones. The second is the owners themselves, who might lack basic hygiene products after escaping their homes. The third involves crowded shelters, which typically become overwhelmed as fleeing owners leave behind their pets, sometimes leading to the euthanization of animals already staying there due to lack of space. The fourth are pets who become stray when their fleeing owners abandon them.

All of these issues the groups hope to address with the donated supplies, Denning said. For more information call (516) 491-8781.