Cheeseburger had been hit by a car in Jersey City and arrived at LHS with a fractured tibia in May. The handsome orange and white kitten's leg healed well and he became an LHS staff favorite (we even decorated his cast with stars and stripes for Fourth of July!) but after a number of months he was still waiting to find his forever home. Cheeseburger’s luck changed in September, when he caught the eye of North Shore Animal League's Karla Agostinello, who makes regular trips from Long Island to Jersey City to help us out.
“Within two weeks, Cheeseburger found his family, and he is doing great!” said Agostinello. “It gives me great satisfaction to pull animals from local shelters and bring them back to North Shore Animal League to find them loving homes. I have been working with LHS for some time now, and we have a great partner relationship. Like us, they have the same goals: to find homes for the animals that are in their care.”
A huge thank you to North Shore, who has transferred a whopping 41 cats from LHS this year.
When Chief (now Ben) was picked up by Jersey City Animal Control he was so frightened he managed to squeeze into a space underneath our kennels, and wouldn’t come out. But we knew exactly who to call about a fearful and emotionally shut-down Rottweiler who otherwise wouldn’t have had much of a chance: Sammy’s Hope Animal Welfare & Adoption Center. Sammy’s Hope executive director Darren Young drove up to the shelter that day to meet Chief. And he brought with him a helper: a pit-mix named Chuck whose job is to interact with shelter dogs and determine their comfort level with other dogs. Chief seemed to come out of his shell a bit with Chuck, and he left LHS with Young that day. Within two weeks he was adopted by a Sammy’s Hope volunteer.
Sammy's Hope, based in Sayreville, is named for a large brindle pit bull/boxer mix who stole the hearts of a group of volunteers at the Edison Animal Shelter back in 2010. The group, which has about 100 volunteers, continues to focus on bully breeds as well as fearful dogs. Young says he keeps capacity relatively low in order to focus on dogs that need extra enrichment. “We can give dogs extra help, and we have success with fearful
dogs by having them work with other dogs…. We focus on NJ dogs, where there is a real need, and we are very comfortable working with pit bulls. They are very misunderstood dogs, very sensitive and cuddly, and also strong.”
Young cultivates personal and professional relationships with shelters like LHS, “cooperative animal welfare partners that have the same goals we do. Kim [LHS Director of Operations] knows the type of dogs we work with, and her list is almost always right.” So far this year, Sammy’s Hope has transferred 17 dogs and 9 cats from us.
Our relationship with Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary (ARWS) began on a cold, icy day 8 years ago when two sheep were spotted running on the NJ Turnpike. The pair, maybe escapees from a truck headed to the slaughterhouse, was captured by our animal control officer and brought back to the shelter. Despite the terrible weather, ARWS founder Kelly Simonetti responded promptly to our call for assistance, and, slipping and sliding on the ice, we wrangled the sheep into her truck. Those sheep are still alive today, enjoying a quiet life on a NJ farm owned by friends of Simonetti’s.
A non-profit licensed NJ rehabilitation center, ARWS is located on a 120 acre preserved farm in Warren County, and cares for fawns, raccoon, skunks, opossums, squirrels, rabbits, woodchucks and other small mammals. More than 1000 animals are brought to their facility every year. The mission of the all-volunteer group is to provide care and treatment to sick, injured or orphaned wild animals, rehabilitate them back to their wild state so they can be returned to their natural habitat, actively educate the public to care for and support the ecosystems and environment which they share with wildlife, and to protect and preserve our native lands.
We have transferred many, smaller, animals to ARWS since those sheep: squirrels, skunks, possums (including one delivered to us in a brown paper bag) chickens and roosters. Simonetti values the partnership. “We have great communication, “ she says. “LHS staff has been really careful and diligent about calling me, and we do all we can to help them out. It allows us both to focus on our missions.” Thank you, Antler Ridge, for always being there for us!
When our animal control officers received a call from Bayonne about an injured bird we expected to find a sparrow or a crow—but instead, they found an osprey. The bird had singed feathers and burns on its legs and feet, probably after an encounter with a methane exhaust chimney in the Meadowlands, and we transferred it immediately to The Raptor Trust for rehabilitation. (Amazingly, ospreys have made a comeback in NJ. They love to roost and nest on high structures, ideally trees and nesting platforms, but sometimes telephone and utility poles and the occasional exhaust pipe chimney in landfills.)
The Raptor Trust was able to treat the burns with creams and pain medications, but the bird’s feathers could not be fixed so quickly. Ospreys only molt once a year and this one would not grow in new feathers for many more months. To complicate the situation, ospreys are migratory birds that prefer to winter in a warm climate. It is unlikely that this bird would have thrived during a harsh NJ winter, so the bird was flown to a wild bird rehabilitator in Florida where it spent a sunny winter recuperating, and was released back into the wild once its new feathers molted in.
LHS has also brought dozens of pigeons, geese, ducks, falcons, herons and many smaller birds to The Raptor Trust, which is located in the Great Swamp in Millington. The organization has three goals: to provide free care and assistance to injured, sick, or orphaned wild birds, to educate people about wild birds, especially birds of prey, and to provide a humane example for others. We are proud to partner with this nationally recognized leader in wild bird rehabilitation and the conservation of birds of prey!
Brian Bradshaw has a soft spot for black cats. Like their canine counterparts, black cats often languish longer in shelters, some combination of superstition and bad lighting in kennels. But when Bradshaw, executive director of the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter, walked by Brooke’s cage at LHS last month and the 4 month old reached out with her paw as if to stop him, he knew he couldn’t leave her behind. The fact that Brooke only had one eye did not deter him either. “She is very sweet, “ he says. "I love the black cats."
Somerset Regional Animal Shelter, is a non-profit in Bridgewater, NJ that provides animal control services and cares for approximately 1,000 lost, abandoned and surrendered animals every year. Bradshaw is committed to reaching out to help NJ animals in need when he has extra space at his shelter. So far this year he has pulled 38 cats from LHS, including Brooke and a bonded pair named Raine and Lionel that his shelter was able to adopt out together in spite of their corneal scarring.
“I believe in helping your neighbors,” says Bradshaw. “LHS does a wonderful job with the cats. It is an inner city shelter that is moving forward and really trying to make things better in their own community. We work together.”
Lassie (now Lola) was an overbred black bulldog/Boston terrier mix with bad skin and nipples that hung to the floor. Moonlight (now Wilbur) had a serious yeast and bacterial infection that caused patches of fur loss. The deck was seriously stacked against both dogs, yet both are thriving in loving homes thanks to our wonderful partner FernDog Rescue. “We will pull anyone that touches us and that we have a foster for, no matter age, breed or medical condition,” says Adoption and Fosters Coordinator Donna Buccellato. “Lola looked pretty pathetic, but insanely beautiful to us." So far in 2015 FernDog
has pulled 7 dogs from LHS, including a 12-year-old Schnauzer.
Based in Caldwell, FernDog Rescue was founded by dog behavior consultant and trainer Fernando Camacho with one goal: to getdogs out of shelters and into foster homes as quickly as possible. He had witnessed the mental deterioration that can occur in a shelter to even the most adoptable dogs, and also believed that getting dogs into foster homes is the best way to prepare them for their future homes. Camacho, along with his friend and fellow trainer Buccellato, designed a foster program designed to nurture dogs’ physical and emotional health, help them through any issues, and provide a support system. FernDog also focuses on developing programs to promote pet adoption services and raise public awareness by providing community education of the issues surrounding animal rescue.
Dogs rescued by FernDog spend a minimum of two weeks in foster care, and fosterers receive all the training, support and resources they need. “We try to help anyone we can,” says Buccellato. “We never say no. Our dogs are family.”
Butterscotch was emaciated and near death when he was picked up by animal control in Jersey City. We wanted to do whatever it took to save this sweet boy, but knew the emergency surgery he required, as well as the post-operative medical care, was beyond our means. Thankfully, we knew whom to call. Animal Alliance picked up Butterscotch, paid for his surgery and arranged for one of their foster families to care for him as he recovered from his ordeal. Today Butterscotch (now Shooter) is a joyful, healthy dog who tips the scales at 71 pounds. His adoptive family adores him.
Founder and Executive Director Annie Trinkle loves working with Liberty Humane Society in rescuing and promoting New Jersey dogs for adoption. “We are honored to partner with this inner-city, high-volume shelter that is doing amazing work in finding adoptive homes for dogs and cats in desperate need. Our partnership is important to us at Animal Alliance because our preference always is to rescue from local NJ shelters first, before going out of state to help elsewhere. We think that rescuing and adopting locally should be a priority for all shelters.”
LHS works hard to find a home for each and every one of our local community animals, and we couldn’t do it without the support of our rescue partners. This Thanksgiving season we give thanks for the groups who make LHS’s Adopt Local mission possible by caring for some of the most challenging dogs and cats who come through our doors. They are with us in the trenches, and we are proud to kick off a series that features the work they do on behalf of local animals.
Animal Alliance, founded in 2001, finds euthanasia to be an unacceptable fate for adoptable dogs and cats in animal shelters who will lose their lives due to pet overpopulation. Focusing on injured animals and victims of cruelty and neglect, the Lambertville, NJ organization removes animals from shelters and places them into temporary foster care, where they are rehabilitated, spayed/neutered, restored to health, and readied for a speedy adoption. It has a robust pet adoption program, operate a low cost spay/neuter clinic and runs a shelter to house dogs awaiting adoption. Its Roberts Curts Memorial Pet Adoption Center offers pets for adoption in a retail-like setting to encourage pet adoption among those who might not ordinarily visit a traditional animal shelter, and to increase the visibility and accessibility of rescued animals for adoption.