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Stepping Up

August 20, 2010

Misty, one of the rescued Chihuahuas

By Brianne Harrison

Not that they’re the type to ever sit around and get bored, but it seems that the folks over at St. Hubert’s and the shelters they work with have had an exceptionally busy summer, which means there are quite a lot of very lucky rescued animals looking for homes. St. Hubert’s and its partners have sent representatives all way the way to the battered Gulf Coast to bring back homeless pets, as well as saving many closer to home.

Last month, the shelter took in thirty laboratory test beagles who were rescued from a recently bankrupt lab in Oxford, NJ (a rare case of a bankruptcy being a good thing in this economy.) It took nearly a month for St. Hubert’s to secure the dogs’ release, as bankruptcy proceedings delayed things. Vans from St. Hubert’s, Noah’s Ark Animal Welfare Association, and Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter finally arrived at the lab on July 2 to take the dogs to St. Hubert’s Adoption Center, where they were walked and given veterinary exams, vaccines, and microchips. They were also given appropriately patriotic names—they’re all named after signatories of the Declaration of Independence. The sweet beagles were all lucky enough to find homes quickly.

Not long after this rescue, St. Hubert’s stepped in when the Pennsylvania SPCA removed 85 dogs from a home in South Philadelphia, in what is suspected to be a hoarding incident. With the help of Lambertville-based Animal Alliance, 17 of the dogs, all Chihuahuas, were transferred to St. Hubert’s shelters in Madison and North Branch. As their former owner faces charges of animal cruelty, the dogs are getting used to clean beds and water. The pups were quite timid when they were first rescued, but they have blossomed since and are now ready to find new (happier) homes.

Finally, and most recently, St. Hubert’s traveled all the way down to Louisiana to rescue approximately 100 dogs from nine overwhelmed shelters in the Gulf Coast state, which has taken an environmental and economic beating from the devastating oil spill. The number of animals surrendered by their owners spiked dramatically after the spill, as fishermen and others suddenly found themselves out of work.

“New Jersey is a coastal state, so we can comprehend how devastating an oil spill could be on a local economy,” said Heather Cammisa, president of St. Hubert’s. “Our hearts go out to the families who were forced to surrender their pets and together with our placement partners, we will take great care of these dogs and find them the new homes they deserve.”

The dogs were safely transported to New Jersey and are available for adoption through St. Hubert’s in Madison and North Branch, Noah’s Ark in Ledgewood, Mount Pleasant Animal Shelter in East Hanover, Monmouth County SPCA in Eatontown, Animal Alliance in Lambertville, Somerset Regional Animal Shelter in Bridgewater, Humane Society of Atlantic County in Atlantic City, and the Franklin Twp. Animal Shelter.

For information on pets available for adoption or to donate to homeless animals’ care, visit

Mark your Calendar:

On a lighter note, it’s time again to dine with your dog at The Bernards Inn! The Inn celebrates the Dog Days of Summer by inviting pets and their people to dine together on the restaurant’s terrace Mondays throughout August. Dogs in attendance will receive a special gourmet treat prepared by pastry chef Duane Hendershot as their owners dig into a delicious dinner of their own.

Leashed, well-behaved dogs are welcome for lunch or dinner between 11:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Reservations are necessary and can be made by calling 908.766.0002.

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