Dogs Displaced by Gulf Spill Head for NJ

Thursday, Aug 5, 2010  |  Updated 3:11 PM EDT
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Gulf Oil Spill In Pictures

Adele Cannell

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The Gulf coast oil spill was hard on dogs, too.  

Over 100 dogs, displaced and abandoned by their families, are coming to New Jersey in the hopes of finding a new home.  The dogs are due to arrive at a New Jersey animal shelter later today.

Animal shelters on the Gulf coast area are overcrowded because many families who depended on the Gulf for their livelihood have found it increasingly difficult to care for pets due to the recession caused by the oil spill.  In response, animal shelters across the U.S. have opened their doors to Louisiana's relinquished pets.

St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Chatham, New Jersey is one of these. "Unfortunately their families are breaking up by having to give up their animals. We wanted to extend our arm and help in any way we could, by helping to take in the new animals.'' St. Hubert's president Heather Cammisa told the Daily Record.

The dogs depart from Louisiana today to make the 24-hour drive to Chatham.  Because hot temperatures are expected once again for today, the staff of St. Hubert's will be on hand to provide the dogs with plenty of water, Cammisa told the Daily Record.

From St. Hubert's, some of the dogs will be moved to other animal shelters throughout the state, including Mount Pleasant Animal Shelter in East Hanover, Noah's Ark in Roxbury, Animal Alliance in Lambertville, and the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The Louisiana animal shelters sending the dogs off say that they have been overwhelmed by the influx of pets in the past two months.  St. Bernard Parish Animal Shelter told the Daily Record that they received 288 pets in May and 117 in June, up from 60 and 17 pets in the same months the previous year.

"We're in a unique position to assist," Kim Saunders of St. Hubert's Board of Trustees told the Daily Record.  Saunders worked with the Humane Society of the United States to arrange transport for the dogs.

Because the dogs will end up in various shelters throughout the state, it is unknown when people will be able to adopt them.

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