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Groups Rescue Pets Stranded By East Harlem Explosion

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A number of pets have been rescued from the scene of the East Harlem explosion site.

On Thursday, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, the ASPCA and Animal Care & Control of New York searched for missing pets and assisted residents who were evacuated from adjacent buildings to get their animals out safely.

PHOTOS: East Harlem Explosion | The Day After

Jennifer Coffey, Director of the Helping Pets and People in Crisis Program at the Mayor's Alliance, said volunteers were armed with boxes to trap the animals and rescue them as fast as possible because each family had only a couple of minutes to get inside, grab what they needed and get back out.

"We were able to work with about a dozen families,"  Coffey told 1010 WINS. "We entered each apartment looking for the cats, looking where they might hide."

One cat, named Maya, was found hiding in an apartment near the explosion site, 1010 WINS reported.

Several animals have been reunited with their owners, while others are being housed temporarily with the group Animal Haven.

"You see that bond between the person and their animal in these kinds of situations," Coffey said. "I think that these families love their pets and can't wait to be reunited with them."

Anyone needing help with pets affected by the explosion should call the NYC Disaster Relief Pet Hotline at 866-816-4804.

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