By John McDevitt, Chelsea Karnash
TRENTON, NJ (CBS) – The Christie Administration says it has established a 24-hour hotline for residents who left their pets behind when evacuating their homes before Hurricane Sandy.
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has been working with the state Office of Emergency Management, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to help dogs, cats and other pets and owners in need.
“We have been working with state Office of Emergency Management, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Humane Society of the United States to put together a hotline if people have been separated from their pets and that number is 1-855 407-4787,” says Lynne Richmond, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
There have been reports of residents who were separated from their animals during the evacuation of their homes as Hurricane Sandy approached. To minimize the risk of these residents trying to return to their homes in dangerous situations to retrieve their pets, a system has been established to make official animal rescue personnel available to assist these residents.
Those who call the hotline will be asked for information to assist animal rescue teams in locating the animals and bringing them safely to a shelter.