UPDATE: Max, who had been adopted by Streich-Kest from the ASPCA, will live with her parents, ABC News reported on Nov. 2. The Pit Bull-Pointer-Shepherd mix is still recovering from head trauma, a broken jaw that may need surgery, and mouth lacerations at VERG South, an emergency veterinary hospital in Brooklyn.
“It’s just a testament to Max’s spirit that he pulled through this tragedy,” VERG South Medical Director Brett Levitzke, DVM, told ABC News. “It’s also a testament to his owner that she went to a local shelter and saved putting him to sleep. That’s why the whole story is really heartbreaking, but hopefully it will have a happy ending for Max.”
Perhaps it was because the winds from Superstorm Sandy that blasted their Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood earlier on Monday had finally calmed down a bit that high school teacher Jessie Streich-Kest and her friend, Jacob Vogelman, both 23 years old, decided it was an opportune time to take her Pit Bull mix, Max, out for a walk.
It was a fatal decision.
According to the New York Times, as the three of them made their way down Ditmas Avenue, a street covered by “a canopy of vast maples, oaks and lindens,” a gust of wind toppled three of those enormous trees.
The bodies of Streich-Kest and Vogelman weren’t discovered until Tuesday morning.
“We had no idea,” Pat Atia, who lives on Ditmas Avenue, told the Times. “I was outside taking pictures of my house for the insurance when a cop said, ‘Back up, back up,’ and I saw a young man dead under the tree.”
To help prevent tragedies like this, FEMA offers this advice to people in areas devastated by Sandy:
“Stay off the streets. If you must go out, watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.”
The ASPCA warns that if it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets.
And, sadly, vice versa.
Streich-Kest’s family has set up a fund to help pay for Max’s veterinary costs. Checks can be made payable to The Jessie Streich-Kest Fund and sent to The Jessie Streich-Kest Fund, c/o Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, 241 Water St., 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10038.