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Small Victims of the Oil Spill: Animal Shelters Filling Up as Local Economy Dips

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More than two months after the oil leak began, financial repercussions have reached oyster shuckers, waitstaff, tour boat operators and others struggling to keep their homes and their pets. It's a terrible feeling of helplessness, watching the oil kill wildlife, and although not everyone can jump in with animal rescue there is a concrete way to help. Consider adopting a pet. Animal Rescue of New Orleans says that with Plaquemines Parish and St. Bernard Parish shelters beyond full because of the oil leak's economic fallout, people are calling the helpline and begging them to take in pets they can no longer afford to feed.

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Some simply leave the animals on the shelter's doorstep. For every dog or cat that is adopted, there is room for another at the no-kill shelter. ARNO also has a Pet Retention Program that sends a case worker to homes where residents can't afford food for their pets. The case worker checks on the animals and brings food every week. ARNO was founded after post-Hurricane Katrina to help house thousands of cats and dogs displaced in New Orleans. So if you've been wanting to help out, but can't rescue sea turtles, dolphins or pelicans there is a concrete way to reach out to creatures affected by repercussions from the oil. Adopt a cat or dog, and make room for another in the shelter.

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Long-time ARNO volunteer Laura Bergerol shares these photos from this week and more on her blog.

As of this post, the pets pictured are still waiting for a good home. ARNO can send animals as far as California.

A dozen more of Laura's beautiful photos on my NewOrleans.com post.

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