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ASPCA Rescues Animal Victims of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey

IFAW, Animal Rescue League of Boston collaborate to conduct water and land search-and-rescue to help animals affected by storm; reunite pet owners with animals

NEW YORK, Nov. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), at the request of the Ocean County Health Department and the Ocean County Sheriff's Department in Toms River, N.J., has dispatched its disaster response team to conduct water and land search-and-rescue for animals affected by the devastating storm that struck Ocean County. The operation is being supported by responders from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Animal Rescue League of Boston, in conjunction with the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Toms River Animal Control.

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"Many people have lost their homes due to the storm, and our goal is to alleviate some of the stress for pet owners by reuniting them with their animals," said Dr. Dick Green, director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team. "The ASPCA is pleased to be in a position to assist Ocean County authorities, and the incredible support and collaboration with the local officials and our response partners has allowed us to respond quickly to animal rescue requests. Our priority is to help reunite as many pet owners as possible with their animals."

ASPCA responders arrived on the ground late Thursday to work with local officials to assess the situation and establish a system to reunite pet owners with their animals. An eight-person team responded to more than 30 animal rescue requests yesterday, retrieving displaced pets and reuniting them with their owners. Ocean County residents who need to report animal emergencies may call a statewide pet hotline: 1-866-407-4787.

"In the aftermath of this devastating Hurricane, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) was asked to support land and water search and rescue operations for animals in Ocean County," said Shannon Walajtys, IFAW Manager for Disasters. "We're fortunate to have our PetFinder Foundation funded rescue truck and trailer filled with water rescue boats and equipment, including sheltering supplies, for those animals that were left behind as residents were forced to evacuate at a moment's notice."

"We are proud to join in the effort to help rescue animals affected by flooding and other storm-related perils along the New Jersey coastline," added Brian O'Connor, manager of Rescue Services at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. "We can ensure that animals are safe and well cared for while the people of Ocean County focus on the rebuilding of their lives and communities." 

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team frequently responds to natural disasters, including other major events like Hurricane Irene, and the Joplin, Mo. tornado in 2011, Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008 and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, in addition to being called upon by state and municipal governments and other animal welfare partners to lend expertise during large-scale animal rescue operations.

Please click on the links below for photos and video of emergency animal rescue responses:
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Photos -

For additional photos and video, please contact Emily Schneider at [email protected].

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation's leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Animal Rescue League of Boston
Founded in 1899, The Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Boston is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect. In addition to the organization's animal rescue, law enforcement, shelter, and veterinary headquarters in Boston, the ARL of Boston operates shelters in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster, Massachusetts. The ARL of Boston also maintains a fleet of animal ambulances and specialized rescue vehicles as well as the mobile Spay Waggin' providing subsidized spay/neuter services throughout southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund supports IFAW's disaster relief efforts around the world.


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