The Louisiana SPCA Announces the Gulf Coast Companion Animal Relief Program, Providing Relief to People and Pets Affected by the BP Oil Disaster

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Generous Grant from ASPCA to Provide Free Pet Care to Residents Affected by Oil Spill

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The coastal parish animal shelters have experienced 2-3 times the number of pets being relinquished than last summer.

The Louisiana SPCA (LA/SPCA) along with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the lead sponsor, the Best Friends Animal Society, and several local organizations have begun the Gulf Coast Companion Animal Relief Program to provide services to pet owners suffering economic hardship as a result of the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil rig explosion.

“The coastal parish animal shelters have experienced 2-3 times the number of pets being relinquished than last summer.” says Ana Zorrilla, CEO of the LA/SPCA, “Studies have shown pets reduce stress, aid in overcoming depression and loss, and provide comfort in times of need. Knowing how bonded people are with their pets, it’s heartbreaking to hear of families having to make this kind of decision. The pets have become innocent victims of this disaster.”

Through a generous grant from the ASPCA free pet care will be provided to residents of Plaquemines Parish, St. Bernard Parish, Terrebonne Parish and Jefferson Parish affected by the oil spill. It is estimated that their initial contribution will prevent 1,000 family pets from facing relinquishment by their owners.

“A primary mission of the ASPCA is to provide support and resources to communities in need,” says Julie Morris, SVP of Community Outreach at the ASPCA. “Through the generous contributions of our donors we are pleased to join in this collaborative effort to positively impact the companion animals affected by the Gulf Coast tragedy and improve a dire situation for hundreds of families.”

The free pet care includes:

  •     Basic exam including tests for Feline Leukemia, FIV in cats and Heartworms in dogs
  •     Vaccinations
  •     Microchip and registration
  •     Spay or neuter surgery

Services are provided at the LA/SPCA by licensed veterinarians. Residents can begin scheduling appointments by calling the LA/SPCA directly: 504-363-1333 or 504-368-5191 ext. 141. Appointments will be provided on a first come first serve basis through November. This service is available to residents who work in the fishing industry of the affected parishes. Proof of eligibility is required and can be: a Commercial Fishing License, Trip Tickets, Check stub from Seafood-related industry, or signed letter from captain including a copy of one his supporting documents listed above.

Additionally dog food will be provided from a generous donation by Del Monte Foods coordinated by Best Friends Animal Society while supplies last.

“We were able to respond quickly to the reports of increased pet relinquishment and solicited a very generous donation from Del Monte Foods of 41,000 pounds of Kibbles ‘n Bits dog food,” states Temma Martin, spokesperson for Best Friends Animal Society, “This effort is an example of how our First Home Forever Home campaign helps families avoid having to surrender their four-legged family members even in the face of disaster.”

Support from the following organizations has been critical to make this program possible: The American Society for the Prevention for Cruelty (ASPCA), Del Monte Foods, Best Friends Animal Society, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, Second Harvest Food Bank (local affiliate of Feed America), St. Bernard Parish Animal Shelter, Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society, Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter, Terrebonne Animal Shelter, and the Louisiana SPCA.

To volunteer or donate to this or other disaster related programs, visit http://www.la-spca.org/gulfcoastrelief.

Contact information:

Louisiana SPCA
Katherine LeBlanc
Communications Director
504-444-2284
leblanc(at)la-spca(dot)org

ASPCA
Alison Zaccone
Senior Manager Media & Communications
212.876.7700 ext 4568
alisonz(at)aspca(dot)org

Best Friends Animal Society
Temma Martin
Public Relations Specialist
801-953-8876
temmam(at)bestfriends(dot)org

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans
Corinne Levy
Associate Director of Communications
504-592-5690
clevy(at)archdiocese-no(dot)org

St. Bernard Parish Animal Shelter
Karen Bazile
Public Information Officer
504-278-4280
kbazile(at)sbpg(dot)net

Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society
Jacob Stroman
Shelter Director
(504) 392-1601
jacob(at)paws4life(dot)org

Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter
Tessa Corthell
Interim Director
(504) 736-6118
tcorthell(at)jeffpariosh(dot)net

Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter
Valerie Robinson
Animal Shelter Manager
(985) 873-6709 ext. 201
vrobinson(at)tpcg(dot)org

The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is an organization devoted to improving the lives of animals and eliminating the homelessness, neglect and abuses that signal animal suffering. Chartered in 1888, our history has been paved with an understanding that only through an improved human-animal ethic can we better the lives of companion animals and that of our community. Our programs and services are infused with the highest standards of care and compassion.

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One 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. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit http://www.aspca.org.

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Alison Zaccone
ASPCA
(212) 876-7700 ext 4
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