AC boardwalk kitties safe and more Irene pet updates

When we heard Atlantic City was under an evacuation order and battening down ahead of Hurricane Irene, we wondered what would become of the famous feral cat colony that lives beneath its boardwalk.

After all, wouldn't they be swept away in the storm surge and how would anyone evacuate several dozen feral cats?

Well, thanks to Fox News we learn chunks of the Taj Mahal facade fell and a boardwalk streetlamp was toppled, but the boardwalk kitties are safe and dry.

They huddled together through the storm deep under the boardwalk, Fox reports. Volunteers brought out reinforced Rubbermaid containers for them to take shelter in.

The cat colony is one of the most well known feral cat management success stories. Through the work of volunteers and the national cat advocacy group Alley Cat Allies, the colony is being cared for and the population controlled through TNR (Trap, Neuter and Release).

In other news:

Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania state director for the Humane Society of the United States, is stationed at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency center in Harrisburg to help coordinate shelter and rescue efforts.

She reports via email that county Animal Response Teams 

Have pet friendly shelters set up in Philadelphia, Monroe, Lancaster, Chester, Lebanon and Delaware and shelters being set up in Bucks and Wyoming. Not too many animals coming in yet but we are prepared for significant flooding. County Animal Response Teams are answering the call for volunteers and PA State Animal Response Team is embedded here in EOC coordinating with PEMA and Red Cross to ensure animal needs are being met

We hear the Philadelphia County Animal Response Team is still looking for volunteers to help with animals at its shelters. Check out their Facebook page.

And I forgot to mention earlier that Delaware County SPCA has put out an urgent plea for foster care and adoption ahead of the storm. They say if they don't move cats and dogs immediately they will be forced to euthanize to make room for the expected storm-related influx.

Also, Humane USA PA PAC - a political action committee formed by a coalition of animal welfare groups - has assembled a helpful list of animal-related disaster resources.

Photo/Humane USA PA PAC