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American Humane Association’s Red Star Rescue Team to help in New Jersey Animal Shelter Crisis

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Volunteer team and 50-foot Lois Pope Red Star Rescue Vehicle, sponsored by
MARS Petcare US and Banfield Pet Hospital, arrive to help 91 cats and 15 dogs found in deplorable conditions, build a better future for thousands of animals

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 8, 2014 —American Humane Association’s renowned Red Star® Animal Emergency Services team has deployed to Helmetta, New Jersey at the request of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJSPCA) to help animals in need following the voluntary receivership of a shelter in Helmetta, New Jersey. The deployment was made possible by Red Star presenting sponsor MARS Petcare US, makers of PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs.

More than 100 cats and dogs were found in deplorable conditions and the local borough council approved a temporary takeover of the shelter following alarming reports of conditions at the shelter. The animal shelter was quarantined for adoptions after the local health department found unsanitary conditions.  A recent letter from the SPCA to town officials leveled serious allegations against the shelter, saying, "Simple matters such as who has access to the facility, the lack of cleaning of cages, basic feeding, the co-mingling of sick and healthy animals, insufficient veterinary care, the lack of disease control protocols, the majority of the animals thin or emaciated, the need for emergency vet care of some severely sick animals, are all of a very disturbing nature and require immediate action."

            “It’s a very serious situation,” said American Humane Association National Director of Humane Intervention & Emergency Services Justin Scally. “These animals need rehabilitation and medical care, and the way this shelter operates needs to be overhauled. We’re just glad to get our Red Star team here so we can begin helping these animals, and make changes to how the shelter is run in hopes of benefiting hundreds, if not thousands, of animals in the future.”

50 feet of hope arrives

            In addition to its trained team of Red Star volunteers, American Humane Association sent its 50-foot long northeast Lois Pope Red Star Rescue Vehicle.  This newest member of the Red Star rescue fleet, sponsored by Banfield Pet Hospital, is specifically designed and outfitted to provide a wide array of emergency services and is staffed by certified and specially trained responders, carrying supplies and equipment to shelter animals. The vehicle is based in New Jersey and is dedicated to the region so it may respond to emergencies quickly in the entire Northeast area. This is the second time this year that American Humane Association’s Red Star team has deployed to assist in a shelter rescue case in New Jersey.  In January and February, the Red Star team was on the ground assisting the New Jersey SPCA with a response to help some 200 animals at a shelter that lost its way. The team did everything from cleaning and disinfecting all areas of the facility to walking dogs and helping to start the shelter animals on the road to their new lives – as a member of a loving family.

            “Our hearts go out to these animals and we will do whatever we can to help them,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. “Thanks to our supporters, philanthropist Lois Pope, MARS Petcare US, makers of PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs, Banfield Pet Hospital, Zoetis, and other major donors who helped fund the Northeast truck used in this deployment, we are able to come to the aid of our nation’s most vulnerable animals in their times of greatest need.”

            American Humane Association’s Red Star program was created in 1916 at the request of the U.S. Secretary of War to rescue wounded war horses on the battlefields of World War I in Europe.  Since then, Red Star has been rescuing animals of every kind and has been involved in virtually every major disaster relief effort from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin, Missouri and Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes, the Japanese and Haitian earthquakes, and Superstorm Sandy.  Over just the past ten years Red Star teams have saved, helped and sheltered more than 80,000 animals.

To follow the news and support the Red Star team's emergency work, please visit

About American Humane Association
American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at today.

About Banfield Pet Hospital®
Founded in Portland, Ore., in 1955, Banfield is the largest general veterinary practice in the world. In 2007, Banfield joined the Mars, Inc. family of businesses, and today it is more than 880 hospitals strong in neighborhoods across the United States and Puerto Rico. More than 2,900 veterinarians at Banfield are committed to giving pets the highest quality of veterinary care. Banfield hospitals offer a full range of comprehensive medical services, computerized medical records, preventive care plans for pets and extended operating hours. Banfield Pet Hospital provides preventive care for millions of pets each year through Optimum Wellness Plans®. For journalists seeking more information, visit or contact the Media Hotline at 888-355-0595.

About Mars Petcare US
Mars Petcare US is the U.S. operations of the world’s largest petcare company at the privately-held Mars, Incorporated. Mars Petcare US produces some of the world’s most beloved pet care brands, including PEDIGREE®, IAMS®, CESAR®, SHEBA®, WHISKAS®, GOODLIFE™, TEMPTATIONS®, NUTRO®, GREENIES®, and EUKANUBA®, as well as exclusive brands products for some of the leading retailers in the U.S. Headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., more than 3,000 Mars Petcare associates make, sell and distribute its high-quality pet food from 16 manufacturing facilities located in communities across the U.S.

For more information, please visit

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