SUV Filled with 14 Dogs Involved in New Jersey Accident

Jonnie Craig was driving her Chevy Suburban filled with 14 dogs when it overturned around 2:30 a.m. on Interstate 78 near Lebanon, New Jersey.

Craig was 17 hours into a 24-hour road trip to bring the dogs to Libby’s Legacy, a pet rescue organization in Buxton, Maine.

Most of the dogs came from the Douglas County, Georgia Animal Shelter, where many of them were on the “kill list.”The dogs included six eight-week-old beagle puppies.

Craig was injured in the accident, and three of the dogs got loose, including a puppy that was ejected from the vehicle.

The Lebanon Borough Fire Department and the Clinton Rescue Squad extricated Craig from the SUV using the Jaws of Life device. She was taken to a local hospital where a gash on her head required 19 staples.

A Chihuahua named Harley was seriously injured in the crash and had to have one of his eyes removed.

All of the remaining dogs were taken to Hunterdon Hills Animal Hospital, where they were boarded at no cost to Craig.

However, one dog, Honey, was not recovered from the wreck – but walked into a groomer’s shop in Cokesbury, New Jersey the next day.

When news of the accident spread, the Facebook page for one of the animal rescue volunteers was bombarded with 322 offers to help.

The ejected puppy was adopted by Marlaina Saharic, daughter of Lebanon Borough Fire Chief Kevin Saharic and his wife, Michelle, an emergency medical technician. They named the puppy “Flip.”

Two firefighters who responded to the accident also each adopted a dog, as did other local New Jersey residents.

Within days, the remaining dogs were on their way to Maine, except for Harley, who was still recovering from his surgery and is expected to join the others shortly.50 people have already applied to adopt him.

Lebanon will be commemorating the accident with an annual animal adoption event.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident, contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C.