TRENTON — New Jersey continues to pay forward the help the state got in the days after superstorm Sandy by helping residents of Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey.

The best way for most individuals to help victims of the most powerful storm in United States history is a monetary donation to the Red Cross, Salvation Army or other charity directly involved with relief efforts.

But other efforts are under way as well.

In Belmar, Mayor Matt Doherty said the municipality will provide free beach access on Labor Day and ask for donations for Rockport, Texas. He said he'd deliver funds to that community's mayor next weekend.

Rutgers University is working with the University of Houston Athletic Department to collect new or gently used clothing and shoes at Friday night's season opener against the University of Washington.

"Everyone here in New Jersey understands full well the challenges those folks in Texas are dealing with. It is important that we come together to support the affected communities," Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs said.

The Monmouth County SPCA, which took in 10 dogs from a San Antonoio shelter, is collecting items for pets to send to Texas. It's expecting another 50 dogs by next week. The Eatontown-based shelter is working with the Humane Society of the United States

"We have a 30-foot trailer we're filling with all sorts of needed items — food, toys, blankets, anything the shelters may need down there. Our volunteers and even our volunteer coordinators are going to truck down there," executive director Ross Licitra said. He said that items for dogs and cats alike are being collected.

Donations can be brought to the shelter on Wall Street in Eatontown during regular hours. The truck leaves on Thursday.

Licitra said that some people in Texas who have been affected by the flooding and extensive damage from Harvey have brought their pets to shelters.

"Their lives are just so upside-down right now there's just no way they can care for an animal. They don't have a home." Licitra said.

The 10 dogs taken in during the week have not yet been put up for adoption and are isolated from the rest of the population.

"They're still going through the vetting process. We have people that are lined up waiting for them," Licitra said.

The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management's Task Force 1 worked units from California, Arizona and Tennessee to rescue pets and K9 dogs from Wharton County, Texas southwest of Houston on Thursday. "Alot of experience and collaboration out there," OEM spokeswoman Laura Connolly said

Connolly said the teams rescued six dogs and 4 birds.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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