As Hurricane Sandy barreled toward Riverhead, a group of caring residents opened their hearts to make sure Kent Animal Shelter's furry friends stayed safe during the storm.
Pamela Green, executive director of Kent, said on Friday that finally, power was restored to the shelter Thursday night.
"We fared okay," Green said Friday. "Just tree branches down on the property." The shelter, she added, still does not have phone service. The clinic was kept open and running on a generator over the past few days.
Before the height of Hurricane Sandy hit Riverhead, leaving the Kent Animal Shelter in the dark, with no power or phones for four days, Green said at least a dozen small dogs were fostered out to caring families for the duration of the storm.
Riverhead resident Ashley Wilbourn Pinciaro said when Kent sent out an email asking for foster families during the storm, she knew she had to help.
"Like a lot of people, I grew up with dogs, and I've seen them be scared by the weather," she said. "A hurricane, especially for some of the little dogs at the shelter, would have just been terrifying."
Wilbourn Pinciaro said she and her husband brought Paxton, a chihuahua from California, home with on Sunday afternoon, and he stayed with them until Friday.
"He was a lot of fun to have in the house," she said.
Since Paxton is only a year old, Wilbourn Pinciaro said it was fun to watch him interacting with the couple's two dogs, Barnum, a cocker spaniel, and Chauncey, a black Lab/rottweiler mix they adopted from Kent just over a year ago; both dogs are six years old.
"Paxton had a good time running around our house and sniffing out the yard," Wilbourn Pinciaro said. "Plus, we were able to give him peace of mind during the storm and keep him safe, which was the number one goal."
Kent, she added, "is really a fantastic shelter, and we were happy to help out any way we could. We're sad to see Paxton go, but we know he'll find a great home. He's really a great boy."
Looking back on the storm, Green said she feels lucky that none of the huge trees in the front came down on the shelter. The shelter, she said, could use donations of food and blankets.
Editor's Note: Ashley Wilbourn Pinciaro is the wife of Patch Associate Regional Editor Joseph Pinciaro.