How Your Pet’s Fur Can Help the Gulf Oil Spill

May 17, 2010 | By Robin Wallace | Category: Charity | 21 comments
Tags: charity, recalls & alerts

Contracted workers from U.S. Environmental Services organize boom for deployment at the Venice, La., staging area Thursday, April 29, 2010. Staging areas have been set up to protect environmentally sensitive locations. (Photo by Marc Morrison)

Animal lovers have cringed as a mixture of oil and natural gas has been spilling into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly a month after the Deep Horizon rig exploded and sank. Killing 11 crew members on April 20, the incident has also caused one of the nation's largest ecological disasters.

Although BP has been reluctant to release estimates of how much crude has been leaking from the wellhead, experts say this disaster has already surpassed the Exxon Valdez catastrophe by millions of barrels of pollutants entering the ecosystem.

As BP works around the clock at its Houston-based crisis center, according to The Wall Street Journal, manned by 500 staffers and the help of Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips experts, as well as officials from the U.S. Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service, there is a way for pet owners to help contain the damaging impact of the spill.

"Pet hair is an absorbent and can be used to create oil-absorbing mats," said Heidi Ganahl, CEO and founder of Camp Bow Wow.

With more than 200 franchise locations throughout Canada and the United States, Camp Bow Wow is collecting any type of fur, hair, and feathers, as well as natural fibers and used nylons from its grooming services to donate for the purpose of creating oil booms.

The non-profit Matter of Trust, which internationally collects and stores hair booms for the more than 2,000 smaller spills that occur annually, is coordinating Camp Bow Wow's nationwide effort by sending all fur and hair to the Gulf region.

According to Matter of Trust's website, BP officials have stated: "At this time, BP is not soliciting or accepting donations." Not deterred, Matter of Trust went on the record saying: "At this time, we are simply providing volunteers the opportunity to make hair booms and stockpile them all along the Gulf Coast, in case BP needs them. 'We're calling it Plan H (H is for Hair)'."

With Camp Bow Wow hoping its first shipment will arrive in the Gulf region in the next several weeks, Ganahl told Zootoo Pet News that the goal is to amass a half ton of hair and fur. She also gave us more insight on how pet owners can get involved in the following interview:

How much is needed?

I don’t know how much is needed in order to clean up the Gulf. But I do know that more than 2,600 oils spills occur all over the world every year. And the Matter of Trust organization is raising money to build a permanent warehouse in order to facilitate oil spill cleanup globally.

Can a pet owner get their local groomer to donate?

Yes, pet owners can reach out to their local groomers, vets and hair salons to get donations. Please remember that Matter of Trust also needs used nylons, while monetary donations are welcome, too.

How can pet owners donate to this cause?

By bringing pet hair to your local Camp Bow Wow franchise – if you go to and search on the location finder, you will be able to see where the nearest outpost is. Call the location before dropping off hair, because not all are participating.

Tell us what you think about “How Your Pet’s Fur Can Help the Gulf Oil Spill” below. Share your favorite videos by clicking on the ZootooTV tab. Send us your story ideas by e-mailing us at

Comments (21)

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daryl b.

daryl b.
5 years ago

i just heard the hair booms sink when they take in their fill. so they can't use them. that is such a shame

Good Point | Reply ›

daryl b.

daryl b.
5 years ago

oh boy they even changed the news. yes this is great but how much can the get

Good Point | Reply ›

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