Returning to the Boardwalk: Atlantic City Cats Post-Sandy

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Photos, Alley Cat Allies via Facebook

Alley Cat Allies has been front and center helping on the ground and sharing reports as caregivers try to locate, do welfare checks, and resume feeding the community cats of Atlantic City, New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy’s destructive effect on the coastal city.

The nationally prominent feral cat advocacy organization headquartered in Bethesda, MD made this news update on the Atlantic City cats on Tuesday, October 30, following Monday’s superstorm:

Alley Cat Allies Rallies in Atlantic City after Hurricane

In the immediate wake of Hurricane Sandy, Alley Cat Allies is mobilizing staff and volunteers to Atlantic City, New Jersey, where clean up and recovery efforts are underway at the Boardwalk after the devastating flooding there. More than 100 feral cats have called the Boardwalk home for the last 13 years. Their safety is our utmost concern.

Today our program manager in Atlantic City reported seeing cats returning to their colonies along the Boardwalk. It’s extremely encouraging to see cats coming back already after such a serious storm. Access to the most damaged part of the Boardwalk is still hampered by road closures, but we’ll continue to provide updates as the floodwaters recede and we’re able to conduct a full assessment.

Beginning Wednesday, Alley Cat Allies’ disaster recovery team will be in Atlantic City providing support to caregivers and rescue groups.

Specifically, we will help to assure that cats found during rescue efforts will have safe shelter until their caregivers or families are identified or until safe locations or new homes can be found. We will also vet any injured cats, spay/neuter and vaccinate any cats that may be displaced but who are rescued, and provide supplies and volunteers to help build safe shelters and stations for the Boardwalk cats and other cats adjacent to the Boardwalk.

In addition, we will be contacting our Feral Friends in the area to find out if they or anyone they know needs assistance with supplies or rescue efforts.

As our efforts expand over the next several days, we will likely need volunteers to assist with assessment and recovery. If you live in or near Atlantic City and want to help, please let us know. We also want to hear from people in other areas of the country who were affected by the storm or who are offering assistance to those in need.

Update Wednesday 10/31: More great news! Boardwalk cats in Atlantic City are showing up at each of their colonies, including this hungry trio at the Taj Mahal. It’s a bit of a mess there, our program manager reports–the area under the Boardwalk is completely flooded, and the shelters were washed out onto the beach—but the cats we’ve seen seem healthy. Our disaster recovery team is arriving in Atlantic City early this afternoon to conduct a full assessment and help with clean-up, recovery and direct care. If you live in or near Atlantic City and want to assist our efforts, please contact us at [email protected] or 240-482-1980, ext. 330.

Below is an audio report broadcast from Atlantic City in the storm’s immediate aftermath on Tuesday, with NPR host Melissa Block on the scene. The boardwalk cats were part of the story”

MELISSA BLOCK: Some people did stay. One of them was a man I met here on the pier, on the boardwalk, 63-year-old Frank Hoops who’s lived here all his life. And here’s why he stayed.

FRANK HOOPS: I’ve been through them all and thank God, you know, been safe, you know, I guess. I’ve been lucky. I have a guardian angel. But I work at a church, too, which helps.


BLOCK: So he was saying: I’ve been through all the storms. He’s lived here a long time. A lot of these storms hit this part of the New Jersey coast. Mr. Hoops, I should mention, was taking care of some feral cats that live under the boardwalk. He was concerned about them. He had come to see them, and he said they survived the storm just fine.

In fact, in the eye – when the eye of the storm passed over Atlantic City, apparently, according to one of the security guards at a casino, 25 cats were walking single file down the boardwalk looking just fine. And he said the cats he looks after – Pepper, Pewee – they’re all fine.

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3 thoughts on “Returning to the Boardwalk: Atlantic City Cats Post-Sandy”

  1. I just love that these cats are being cared for and checked on after the storm. Cats by their very nature are very resilient. I live in Florida where we have lots of storms, and my outside cats always come through in good shape. Thanks to the folks up there who are so caring.

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