Displaced Gulf Coast Pets Will Find New Homes in New Jersey

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Displaced Gulf Coast Pets Will Find New Homes in New JerseyImages of oil-soaked birds and dying sea creatures are cemented in the public's perception of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. Pets tell another story.

In the wake of the April 20 disaster and the economic catastrophe that followed for the Gulf Coast region, people living the affected areas have surrendered their dogs and cats in droves because they can no longer afford to care for them. ABC News reported that nearly 200 Gulf Coast pets given up by their owners have recently been euthanized.

A Chalmette, La., shelter pleaded for help on its website, saying, "Dogs and cats by the scores are being surrendered to the St. Bernard Shelter by residents who can no longer afford to keep them or who have to move but cannot take their pets with them. The shelter is overflowing with some wonderful animals who need new families to love."

To deal with the overflow, some shelters are sending animals out of state. The Humane Society of the United States and the Louisiana SPCA recently transported about 100 dogs from nine overwhelmed Louisiana shelters and rescue groups, including the one in St. Bernard, to St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison, N.J. Most of the dogs will be available for adoption at St. Hubert's, and the rest will be placed with other New Jersey shelters.

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