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Pet Industry Rallies to Help Hurricane Victims

From helping pets to helping shelters to helping pet stores, members of the pet industry are coming together to assist those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

By The SmallAnimalChannel News Division
Posted: November 8, 2012, 7 p.m. EST

rabbit in box
© Marylou Zarbock
Shelter animals in the affected areas need food or sometimes transportation to a different shelter. (stock photo)

Manufacturers, a trade organization and special-interest groups are pitching in to help pets left homeless or hungry because of Hurricane Sandy, which hit the Eastern United States last week.

Stella & Chewy’s, a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of freeze-dried and frozen dinners and treats for dogs and cats, has donated more than $25,000 worth of product to storm victims. The company is teaming up with two organizations, Bideawee and The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, to provide more than 150 cases of food for distribution.

"This storm has caused a lot of distress in our community and taken so much away from so many," said Marie Moody, founder and president of Stella & Chewy’s, who began her business almost 10 years ago in her New York City kitchen. "We wanted to do our part to help by providing nutritious meals for pets in this difficult time."

Another food manufacturer, Halo, Purely for Pets of Tampa, Florida, reported that all Halo Spot's Stew donated through Freekibble.com's Bow Wow Trivia game will be directed to areas impacted by the hurricane. The offer is good through Friday, November 9, 2012.

The Natural Products Association of Washington, D.C., set up the NPA Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. More information is available at its website.

“We want to do what we can to help the victims who have suffered from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, whether they’re our fellow citizens or fellow NPA members," said John Shaw, the association's executive director and CEO. "We urge any store owners who suffered damage from the storm to contact the national NPA office and let us know you need help.”

Meanwhile, GreaterGood.org, a Seattle-based charity group that assists people and animals, announced the distribution of its first round of disaster relief grants, totaling $45,000. The grants came from The Animal Rescue Site, part of the GreaterGood Network.

“GreaterGood.org is providing $10,000 each for the Woodbridge Animal Shelter and the Humane Society of Atlantic County, which have been hard hit by the flooding," executive director Liz Baker said. "We also are sending $25,000 to the International Fund for Animal Welfare to aid their efforts to rescue animals left behind in flooded areas.”

Both Woodbridge Animal Shelter and the Humane Society of Atlantic County are located in New Jersey.

“Our shelter is approximately 30 feet from the Woodbridge River, which flooded during the hurricane,” shelter supervisor Heather Campione said.

All of the shelter's animals were saved, but supplies, medicines and food were lost, Campione said.

Best Friends Animal Society, a no-kill organization based in Kanab, Utah, is helping defray the costs incurred by rescue groups and other organizations that are saving and caring for pets impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Donations from the public and corporate partners also are being used to transport displaced shelter pets to places outside storm-affected areas.

Best Friends’ first-responders John Garcia and Ethan Gurney are in the New York area to work with rescue groups and government agencies, the organization reported. Volunteers also will work shifts at shelters and deliver pet food to storm-stricken areas.

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