Dogs and cats affected by BP oil spill

These are desperate times for animals in the Gulf , and not just for turtles, birds, and local wildlife. Thanks to job losses and other hardships created by the BP oil spill, companion animals are being surrendered to Louisiana shelters in record numbers.

According to St. Paris Bernard Parish Animal Shelter director Beth Brewster, the shelter is at more than double its intended capacity, and residents are being kenneled together to avoid euthanasia.   Not all will be so lucky. The number of owner-surrendered animals was up nearly 500% this June compared to last year. The situation is dire, and it’s growing worse.

Administrators say the process of relinquishing an animal is wrenching for everyone involved, but that families feel they have no choice as they struggle to feed themselves and pay their bills. Some have been forced out of their homes and into apartments which don’t allow pets. Others can simply no longer afford medical treatment or daily care for their dogs and cats.

This is not a time to judge families in the Gulf region; this is a time to lend a hand to their animals. If you’d like to adopt, donate, volunteer – or you just want to find out how you can help save lives – visit the Louisiana SCPA site . Please.