When you think of how you’re going to spend your day on New Year’s Eve, you probably have plans to stay up late, partying with your friends and hoping not to get into any trouble. Members of the football team from North Bergen High School in New Jersey had some more wholesome plans, though.
Several of the players from the North Bergen team volunteered their time on New Year’s Eve to help both the police and New Jersey Humane Society to rescue animals. The group received a call from someone that had spotted three puppies who were outside and freezing, trying to stay warm under a dirty blanket in an industrial area.
The rescue wasn’t easy, as the football players and police officers spent a total of 12 hours trying to get the three dogs to safety and warmth. During the winter time in New Jersey, temperatures drop dramatically, and can go under the 0 degree mark. “This weather is so dangerous that any animal out in the cold for longer than a short period of time, we’re concerned about,” said Kayley Nugent.
Nugent is the communications and marketing coordinator of St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey. That was the spot where the three dogs were taken so that they could receive the treatment they needed, including testing for hypothermia.
Thankfully, it turned out that the three dogs, all rottweiler mixes, were safe and healthy once they got out of the cold weather. The tenacity that the rescuers showed in getting the dogs there was not lost on Nugent, either. “It’s really great to see people as young as high school go out in this weather and pulling together for a common cause like this,” she said. “I think it generates a lot of hope for people.”
The three dogs are now staying in the shelter, and it looks like they will be heading up for adoption if their owners can’t be found. Nugent said that the dogs seemed to be in pretty good condition, and didn’t seem to have spent much time outdoors and weren’t malnourished, signaling that they could have ran away from home.
Many have already responded to the shelter in hopes of adopting the dogs, though Nugent says they’ll need a little more time. They’re also getting used to their new surroundings. “They’re coming out of their shell,” Nugent said. “They definitely were a little nervous (at first), but they’re coming around…They were out there for a couple days, and with this weather, you can imagine that was terrifying.”