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Popcorn Park Helps Rescue Those Pets 'Left Behind'

Local nonprofit animal rescue organization is collecting donations for Hurricane Sandy rescue animals as well as those who need assistance caring for pets after the storm.

Popcorn Park continues to assist in locating pets and reuniting them with their owners after Hurricane Sandy, General Manager John Bergmann said.

“We started getting calls to get animals people left behind,” he said.

The nonprofit animal rescue organization has traveled across the Jersey Shore, including areas like Seaside and Long Beach Island, to save everything from hamsters and ferrets to dogs and cats.

“They’re still rescuing now,” he said. “They’ll be doing it for a while.”

By the time Popcorn Park arrived at the homes, the storm surge from Sandy receded.

Dogs were territorial, he said.

“You’re a stranger,” he said. “They’re scared. Their owners aren’t there.”

Some of the homes were severely damaged and there were times they had to go through windows, Bergmann said. Once the dogs were brought to the truck, they calmed down.

“Then they were happy we took them,” he said. “They would be licking our faces.”

They had to go hunting for the cats, which would hide, he said.

“They’re not as cooperative,” Bergmann said.

Most of the animals were brought to the Toms River North shelter and some were reunited with their owners. Those that are not eventually claimed will be brought to an animal shelter, he said.

“When you see the reaction of the owner, they’re overwhelmed. The dogs are so excited. It makes everything we’re doing worth it,” he said.

Bergmann could not say how many animals they rescued.

“You start to forget what time and day it is,” he said. “We hope to get all of the animals out of the coastal areas. There’s not a lot of protection there.”

The facilities and animals at Popcorn Park fared well through Hurricane Sandy. Branches and trees fell but none struck buildings. All the animals were taken in and cared for prior to the storm, Bergmann said.

Popcorn Park is accepting donations—dog and cat food, cleaning supplies, towels and blankets—for those animals that are being rescued. Pet owners who need supplies can also stop by.

“We’re accepting and giving out,” he said.

The nonprofit is also taking pets in temporarily while owners get back on their feet.

Gwen Jones November 10, 2012 at 11:06 AM
I'm from LBI and had to leave my 3 cats behind and when I asked them for temporary shelter for them they refused!
Joyce M Lanthier November 10, 2012 at 12:39 PM
I would like to come and help. Is there anyway I can come? At least for the weekend? I am a veterinarian technician and used to live on Dock Rd. in Beach Haven.
BeachMomma November 12, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Can anyone confirm that Popcorn Park took any animals? If they are asking for donations, surely they helped house a majority of animals from the barrier islands as they could.
Kristie November 12, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I personally stopped sending donations to PopCorn Park Zoo ,they lie to peopl,e but they ask for Donations ,they tell u in the time of need they will take ur pets but they charge a person a fortune to take the pet in,then tell u they cant promise the animal wont be uthanized! this is not helping anyone this is basically forcing people to keep the pets when they have reasons they can't, they i have several times brought wild life into there place.1 was a rabbit that was hit by a car infront of my home,when i called ppz they told me they had noone to come out for it to bring it in the Morning,I had this bunny over night cleaned up the abrasions on its face the rabbit made it over night i took it to there facility and dropped off with it the cage and blanket with rabbit food, called later that day to see how the rabbit was doing they told me they had no record of it even being brought in! after sending me to several people they stated to me the bunny had been uthanized due to severe head trauma.Don't u think if the bunny had that it wouldnt have made it through the night?
Kristie November 12, 2012 at 01:11 PM
PopCorn Park lies to people and never once have i heard anything good about this place!was also a time where my elderly grandmother 's 2 small dogs got out from her yard we called PopCorn they said no dog came in by that description,we decided to look up and down the streets and drove out to Popcorn only to find out the dogs were indeed there! they charged her 125.00 to get both dogs back!! this place is a joke!

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