By Emily Tannenhauser
After a terrifying hurricane and a 1600-mile van ride across the country, about 100 dogs rescued from Hurricane Harvey got to be pampered like furry princesses on Friday at Camp Canine, a doggy daycare and grooming business at 46 West 73rd Street. They closed down the street to make way for the rescued animals.
As they emerged one by one from large vans on Friday afternoon, the pups got their first glimpse and first sniffs of New York City. Greeted by loving volunteers who were equipped with hug and treats, the dogs were escorted into Camp Canine where they would be groomed, pampered, fed, and loved. Some of the dogs would be headed to foster homes while others would be taking up residence at Camp Canine until they were placed in “forever” homes.
It all started when Muddy Paws Rescue, one of the organizations that Camp Canine partners with decided to take action and help the animals affected by the hurricane. With the help of North Shore Animal League, Muddy Paws Rescue was able to get down to Texas and empty out the shelters there so that those shelters would have room to take in animals that were displaced by the storm and help to reunite them with their owners.
Sparky, a little white dog, whose fur was matted and dirty, was carried off the van. Camp Canine planned to give him food and the full spa treatment, which includes a bath, a “pawdicure”, and a blueberry facial, said Tania Isenstein, owner of Camp Canine as she cradled the frightened puppy in her arms.
Isenstein, a lawyer who left her former job at Goldman Sachs in order take over Camp Canine five years ago, has made community service part of the business. At any given time, she fosters multiple dogs and helps get them adopted (a wall at Camp Canine is covered with about 70 photographs of dogs that they fostered, just a fraction of the 1,000-plus they’ve helped.) Isenstein was coordinating the Harvey rescue operation. “These dogs have been through a lot.”
Several other Camp Canine employees also helped out and live-streamed the event on Facebook.
“We put a call out 48 hours ago and we were overwhelmed with donations — crates and toys food blankets everything,” one employee said. “The community was amazing.”
If you would like to help by either donating goods or fostering pets you can contact Camp Canine at 212-787-3647 or email Tania@NYCAMPCANINE.com. You can also check out Muddy Paws Rescue at www.muddypawsrecue.org.
Photos by Emily Tannenhauser.