Keeping Pet Families Together After the Storm

November 16, 2012 aims to keep families intact

Madison and North Branch, NJ (November 16, 2012) — St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey, and The Humane Society of the United States have joined forces to provide services to help keep pet families together throughout Hurricane affected areas of the state by building foster relationships and providing supportive services.

“Many families are facing housing displacement which threatens their ability to keep their family intact and sadly, we know that moving is a leading cause of pet relinquishment to animal shelters in this country,” said Heather Cammisa, President & CEO of St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center. “Pets are part of the family and after people have lost so much, we don’t want them to be forced to give up their beloved furred, finned or feathered family members,” she added.

The program launches today with a central website that serves as a matching venue for people willing to provide temporary housing, called fostering, with pet families in need. The website includes photos, profiles of site members, tips for all parties, a sample foster contract and links to valuable behavior resources to help foster homes integrate pets into their home. If a match is made and registered, there is access to ongoing support such as pet food, supplies, behavior counseling and other supportive services including some veterinary care support. “We have heard from people around the state and beyond that they want to help pet families and this is a way to connect them in a supportive way, “said Niki Dawson, President of the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey.

“With the extent of damage and our knowledge that about 50% of homes in New Jersey have at least one pet, we know there is great need.”

The Humane Society of the United States championed the creation of a foster network to give impacted families the peace of mind to arrange for their pet’s long-term care while they begin to rebuild their lives. Kathy Schatzmann, HSUS NJ State Director added, “We applaud the tremendous efforts of St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center and the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey to keep families and their pets together during this difficult time.”

Anyone interested in providing services such as grooming, veterinary care, pet food or supplies or who is interested in volunteering to answer phones and emails is asked to please contact or call (732) 377-3701.