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New Jersey hotline unites pets with lost owners

The Humane Society of the United States, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched a 24-hour hotline for New Jersey evacuees who left pets behind.

Evacuees with pets still at home or those with emergency animal needs can call the New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Pet Rescue hotline at 1-855-407-HSUS for help.

The New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Pet Rescue hotline is for animal emergencies only. People seeking immediate assistance for people in need should dial 911.

“The Humane Society of the United States is very grateful to Governor Christie and his administration for their continued support of animals during this hard time, and for working to set up this hotline for New Jersey pet owners,” said Niki Dawson, director of disaster response for The HSUS. “Our fully equipped animal response team is on the ground, surveying the needs caused by Hurricane Sandy and helping animals in need.”

In times of natural disaster, the HSUS routinely deploys a disaster response team to search areas for pets separated from owners, feed animals left behind, or bring animals to shelters.

Earlier this week, The HSUS deployed to Monmouth County, N.J. and Nassau County, N.Y. in response to a request for assistance from emergency management agencies in both counties. The HSUS, along with Monmouth County Community Animal Response Team in New Jersey and Pet Safe Coalition, North Shore Animal League, Nassau County SPCA and Nassau County Office of Emergency Management in New York, is providing animal sheltering assistance for animals and families who evacuated their homes because of Hurricane Sandy.

At the emergency animal shelters, The HSUS is providing staff, supplies and volunteers to care for more than 100 displaced pets and is providing relief to county workers.

The HSUS has been updating pet owners in the region via Twitter, using the handle @HumaneSociety, and Facebook with resources on pet friendly evacuation shelters and other disaster-related information.

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