By Jay Cook |
EATONTOWN – A last-minute change of plans halted the delivery of dozens of pets from Texas shelters earmarked for relocation in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
On Monday evening, the Monmouth County SPCA was preparing for over 80 dogs and cats from San Antonio and Houston animal shelters to be delivered via plane to Morristown Airport for relocation to the SPCA’s Eatontown headquarters.
But the drop didn’t happen due to unexpected complications after the storm hit, said Lindsay Sanator, a spokesperson with the Monmouth County SPCA.
“There was actually a holdup down in Texas, so the transport is postponed for now,” she said.
The animals were already in shelters in the two Texas cities prior to Harvey, but have to be moved out so animals suffering from the storms can use the space. Monmouth County SPCA has partnered with Wings of Rescue, a non-profit organization that flies animals out of dire situations, to work on the rescue efforts. The animals will undergo medical and behavioral assessments before being prepped for adoption.
The national advocacy group believes there are thousands of harmed or displaced pets and animals left behind in the aftermath of Harvey, one of the most destructive disasters to make landfall in the United States.
“Our hearts go out to the people on the front lines during this devastating time in Texas,” said Nicole Feddersen, Monmouth County SPCA’s medical director. “We have been working to send supplies down as well as bring animals up to help lift the burden of the already weighted situation. We will continue to do everything we can and thank the community for their continued support of our mission.”
Sanator said the delivery of those 80 animals is still on, but she was not certain as to when they’ll touch down in New Jersey.
“We should be getting dogs within the next few weeks, but now with this hurricane coming, I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Sanator said, referring to Hurricane Irma, which is expected to make landfall in Florida later this week.
When the animals do arrive, it will be a continuation of the initial Hurricane Harvey efforts Monmouth County SPCA has been making since the storm hit the greater Houston area.
On Aug. 29, the organization helped relocate over 100 animals rescued out of Texas. St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center and The Humane Society were also involved in that shipment of pets, and the animals were divvied up among the three organizations.
Monmouth County SPCA is also organizing a 30-foot trailer filled with animal care supplies for delivery to Texas, to aide in pet supply shortages. That truck will leave on Thursday evening.
“We believe compassion has no borders,” Sanator said. “With the resources and the community that we have, we’re able to have initiatives like this where we can help other shelters that are in need, and animals that are in need.”
Sanator said the best way for the public to help with this mission is by making monetary donations directly to this cause. Those can also be made over the phone by calling 732-440-1556 or via mail to MCSPCA, Harvey, 260 Wall Street, Eatontown NJ 07724.
The Monmouth County SPCA is also currently in need of crates of all sizes to house the incoming animals. Items purchased online through sites like Amazon Wishlist can be shipped directly to the Eatontown headquarters.
This article was first published in the Sept. 7-14, 2017 print edition of the Two River Times.
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