How the animal rescue teams came together
Animals at Ground Zero
Heroes in all shapes, sizes, and breeds
Meet One of the Dog Teams
Pier 40: Heart of the Operation
The Four-Legged Heroes
Search & Rescue, Canine Style
Where Are They Now?
Pets in Peril
Diary of a K-9 Team
Preparing for Animal Care in a Disaster
If You’re an Animal Organization
A Snapshot of the E-mails
A Memorial Roster
When Marcello Forte took a call from New York City animal control, there were already 30,000 tons of food and supplies piling up at the waterfront. The Center for Animal Care and Control (CACC) urgently needed help at Pier 40, which had been set up as an emergency distribution point.
“I got in at 17th Street and was handed a mask and a hat,” said Forte, who was at that time the executive director of Animal Haven, one of New York’s best no-kill shelters and adoption centers.
“We were walking down to the World Trade Center, and they were briefing me on what they wanted me to do. Then, all of a sudden, the smell of smoke was overwhelming, but it was like smoke that you’ve never smelled before, and you put your mask on, and you keep talking to people on the way down about what you need to do, and suddenly you’re standing in front of rubble, and it’s just overwhelming and enormous, and voyeuristic and sad all at the same time.
“I certainly wasn’t part of the rescue effort digging through the rubble, but it was amazing to at least feel like I was doing something.”
Thousands of tons of food and supplies were already on their way to help lost or abandoned pets and to assist the search and rescue dogs. There were first aid kits, bowls, harnesses, eyewash, vet supplies, dog boots, and food. More food than most people could even imagine.
“The food donations were all over the place, in so many different places, different piers,” said Forte. “I was just dealing with the stuff down at Ground Zero. Eventually I was able to get the Coast Guard to help me move it to New Jersey or to piers where the trucks were allowed to go in.