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Last of Sandy displaced pets leaves shelter

Jane Totura, of Greak Neck, pets a mix

Jane Totura, of Greak Neck, pets a mix dog named "Precious" during a press event to thank the Nassau SPCA, Pet Safe Coalition and HUG at Nassau's Emergency Pet Shelter. (March 16, 2013) Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Bruno, a 120-pound Rottweiler, is on his way to a new home -- the last of hundreds of pets displaced by superstorm Sandy to leave Nassau's emergency shelter.

As the center prepared to close for good Saturday, the 7-year-old dog posed for pictures and gobbled treats out of Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano's palm.

"He's in a good mood today," Mangano noted.

After the public appearance, Bruno was loaded into a truck bound for Northwind Kennels in Bedford, Westchester County. He'll live there temporarily while the shelter chooses his new owner from hundreds of applicants.

Bruno was one of 515 dogs, cats and other pets from the Rockaways to Mastic Beach who landed at the shelter after Sandy hit Oct. 29, said Nassau County SPCA spokesman Gary Rogers.

Most of the pets were eventually taken back by their families. About 55 other animals were either adopted or sent to an animal rescue group in California, Rogers said.

Bruno went from sob story to triumph in record time.

The big dog arrived at the shelter, set up in an unused gymnasium on Nassau Community College's Garden City campus, after his owner was flooded out of his Long Beach home and then lost his job.

When the shelter publicized Bruno's plight, the story went viral. Adoption inquiries quickly poured in, Rogers said.

The shelter, run by the SPCA and local groups Pet Safe Coalition and HUG, now is happily reporting that all of its furry former refugees are doing well.

"We made a commitment that we were staying here until we found a home for everybody," Rogers said.

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