Pets Lost and Found in Sandy's Wake

VIDEO: Families separated from their beloved pets use social media to find their furry friends.

Superstorm Sandy's destructive path took lives, forced people from their homes and shut down cities. Its powerful winds and rains also spooked and swept hundreds of pets away from their homes.

As people struggle to rebuild their lives in Sandy's wake, many have been left searching for beloved family members--dogs, cats, birds and other pets.

While some people look for pets, other people are looking for the owners of stray animals who have wandered into their neighborhoods.

Both groups have taken to social media to try to reunite pets with owners. A Facebook page called "Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets" has over 7,000 supporters, a number that is growing by the hour. The page has dozens of photos of pets that have been lost and found. Others are using Craigslist and the hashtag #SandyPets on Twitter.

"People are being very proactive and number one is being aware that after a storm of this magnitude there's going to be a lot of misplaced people and animals," Pennye Jones-Napier told "The animals can be very scared and have just gotten away through fences or losing their collars because they got frightened."

Jones-Napier is a Red Rover responder for disasters in Hyattsville, Md. Red Rover is a national team of volunteers that helps with the sheltering component of disaster relief. She has already gotten several calls from people this week who have found lost animals after the storm and one even turned up at the shop where she works, The Big Bad Woof pet store.

"He showed up on Tuesday afternoon around 4 p.m. and it was still raining here," Jones-Napier told "He was scared to come in at first, but we got him in with some treats."

The people who brought him told the store that they had found the dog outside of a Chipotle and had taken him to a veterinarian's office to see if he had a microchip implanted, but he did not.

The people who found him said they'd be back in an hour-and-a-half for the dog, but they never came back. An employee of the store is sheltering the dog.

"We're calling him Taz because we don't know what else to call him," Jones-Napier said. "He's adorable. He's such a nice dog. Everyone here is in love with him."

She said that Taz greets everyone and is especially intrigued by children.

"I have a feeling he was with a family or someone who has kids around," Jones-Napier said. His body mass index was good and he was not injured. His photo is on Facebook and the store is trying to find his family.

Jones-Napier said that there are some basic steps people can take if they come across a lost dog.

"If they don't have a collar, take them to a local vet or shelter to see if they have a chip," she said. The microchip implanted in many dogs now can be a quick way to identify them and reunite them with their families.

Second, Jones-Napier suggested sheltering the animal yourself if possible, as shelters are currently overwhelmed. Otherwise, they can be taken to area shelters.

She also noted that if the animals have rabies collars, that can be a way to track down their owners through veterinary clinics.

In New Haven, Conn., another family is desperately searching for their beloved dog Sophie, a 7-pound terrier.

Mallory Diedrich and her family -- including a 2-year-old, two other dogs and two cats -- survived the worst of Sandy relatively unscathed. They lost power at their home and are surrounded by debris from trees and fences.

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