Around here, we see signs hurriedly stapled to telephone poles fairly often.
Lost cat. Lost dog. Please help. Reward.
Now imagine how many of those signs could go up in the line of Hurricane Sandy.
Even as hundreds, perhaps thousands, are still displaced from their neighborhoods, an act-alike Facebook page has caught the attention of the media, and a warning — it's equally touching and heartbreaking to visit.
Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets, established the day before Sandy made landfall in the U.S., doesn't recommend any particular charity deserving your dollars, nor take donations. (Refreshing a week before Election Day, isn't it?)
It exists solely to create a place where people can post photos of lost and found pets in affected areas, as well as animals shelters in need and temporary shelters that allow animals.
For example, all 76 evacuation shelters in New York City accepted pets, as did the city's subways, trains and taxi rides, according to USA Today.
It's a good sign that lessons were learned from Hurricane Katrina, which left an estimated 250,000 pets stranded when pets weren't factored into the rescue plan, as explained by Modern Dog Magazine.
Cats, dogs, a good number of birds are all listed among the missing from Sandy.
But there are the happy stories, too, if you look. The photo used for this column, of a dog found in Patchogue, on the South Shore of Long Island, New York, is one of them.
Posted Friday and shared 11, 144 times by mid-Sunday, its comment stream ends with a link to this follow-up post. “UPDATE: REUNITED WITH HIS OWNER! His name is Kodi!”
You've gotta see the before and after pictures.
So many more continue to need help, on this and a few more targeted other pages, first glance is discouraging. Then you wrap your head around all the people mobilizing for the animals.
If you feel compelled to help the effort from a distance, check out this Huffington Post guide.
And as if on cue, Sistercat leaps onto my lap and drapes herself over my belly, reminding me to be grateful we're all safe and sound, and that maybe an extra treat today wouldn't be completely out of order either.