The tiny cries from inside a tied plastic bag were loud enough to catch someone’s attention. Animalkind, USA TODAY
2018 is the first year that the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter participated in NBC10/Telemundoâs national Clear the Shelters event. Across the nation, hundreds of shelters participate in hopes of finding homes for the many pets that fill our shelters. The event is scheduled for the time of year when intake is especially high, providing the home many sheltered animals have been waiting for and opening up more space for incoming animals that need care. Since 2015, over 200,000 animals have been adopted through Clear the Shelters days.Â
Shelters are able to participate in a variety of ways. For our shelter, we determined that discounting adoption fees was the best way. We believe a modest adoption fee encourages some thought about not only the adoption itself, but the future care that the animal will require. In addition, adoption applications were still processed as usual â we just had all hands on deck to speed up the process to enable animals to go home the same day. While we wanted to clear our shelter, we also wanted to make sure animals were going to great homes!Â
For South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter, the event was a nice success. Fifteen dogs were adopted, as well as 22 cats and kittens. There was an air of excitement around the shelter before and during the event; volunteers and staff were energized and excited to be part of something that could potentially benefit so many of our animals. And it felt really great to know that, at the end of the day, 37 animals were sleeping in homes rather than cages. And we now have a lot of interest of in other animals remaining in the shelter, who will hopefully be going home soon!
The event, however, is not without controversy. Many animal advocates are rightfully concerned about free adoptions. They worry that it devalues animals and they will end up the victims of cruelty. Recently, this fire was fueled by a story about a dog that was adopted at a âfree adoptionsâ event and tragically died shortly thereafter. Initially, stories were reported that the dog had been terribly abused and killed; new reports have emerged that debunk that story. What really happened has yet to be determined. This story was used as an example as why free adoptions are bad. While this is a horrific example of something that went wrong, we have to be careful not to use a single story to represent an entire effort. In a world where there are millions of homeless animals who need homes, we have to keep our minds open and try to move forward with positive attitudes. If we choose to focus on the negative, we risk more than just this one particular event; we run the risk of turning down good adoptions based on fear.
Working in shelters for over 10 years, I have seen adoptions that I surely thought would fail wind up wildly successful. I have also seen adoptions that, on the surface, seemed perfect â lovely families, plenty of resources, great photo material â that wind up as miserable failures, in which the animal comes back in terrible condition.Â
For years now, the animal sheltering community has changed its stance on many formerly taboo topics (free adoptions, adoptions at Christmas, black cat adoptions at Halloween), and most of these reversals are based on research. If you have been a supporter of our shelter, you have seen our processes change to make our shelter more community-oriented. We believe that removing restrictions for adoptions makes the shelter more community friendly â and we need our community!Â
Milano, a two-year-old golden retriever/Labrador mix, is a certified facility dog who will helpÂ Violet AvenueÂ Elementary School students. Animalkind, USA TODAY
Clear the Shelters is over for this year, but we still hope that our community will rise and help make the rest of the year a success. Dozens of animals remain at the shelter in need of adoptive homes, our foster and volunteer programs are always seeking new participants, we continue to work with rescue partners near and far, and we have even more exciting developments coming up. We welcome you to be part of the solution to the homeless animal problem in our community.
The South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter seeks donations of pate canned cat food, cardboard cat scratchers, feline Kuranda beds, cat toys, Martingale dog collars, white copy paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer and hand soap.
Dog Wash, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25: Bring your dog to the shelter to get him all cleaned up! Wash and dry for $10, nail clipping for $10, and brushing for $3.Â
Doggie Date Night at The Old Oar House Irish Pub in Millville: Bring your furry friend out for dinner every Thursday through Oct. 25 from 5 to 9 p.m. All proceeds from doggie dinners will be matched by the Oar House and donated to South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter. Weekly theme nights and prizes. Dogs must be leashed at all times and have current rabies vaccination.
Renny, a young female Boxer, was a stray who was found wandering with a belt and rope around her neck, severely malnourished and infested with worms and fleas. She was adopted by a loving family and now enjoys eating fresh blueberries, which she picks herself in her family’s backyard garden. Wochit
Sunshine is a darling 6-year-old Lab. She is on the shy side and needs a patient owner who will take their time with her. Given a little time, Sunshine warms right up and is very sweet and affectionate. She will need to be housebroken, but crate training and a consistent schedule should accomplish that in no time.Â
Howie is a lively 1-year-old bully breed pup. He is a very friendly guy and a real cutie!
Bonnie is a very sweet 4-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier. She loves attention, and is a very lovable and affectionate girl.
Candy is a lovely 5-year-old Lab with gorgeous, amber-colored eyes. Candy is sweet and affectionate, well-mannered and walks nicely on a leash. Candy will need to be housebroken, but crate training and a consistent schedule should accomplish quickly.Â
Maverick is a lively and very friendly 1-year-old terrier mix. He is a nice, medium-sized dog with loads of love to give.
Savannah is a super girl. She is super-friendly, super-lovable and super-cute! She is a 1-year-old pit mix pup who is wiggly and happy and loves people.
Jack is a one year old shepherd and boxer mix. He is a well-mannered pup who is comfortable around children and likes to play with other dogs. Jack is currently in a foster home. If you would like to meet him, please contact the shelter.
Gandolf is a gorgeous big … GIRL?!Â Yep, she is a stunning female cat who likes things her way. Can you really blame her?
Ebony is a sweet girl. This cat is only a year old and already spayed, so she is ready to go home.
Dee Dee is an amazing girl. This cat is super lovey-dovey. Unfortunately, she is being overlooked because she has some scars from fending for herself on the streets. Now she justÂ wants to live in a home andbme snuggled.Â
Twist is such an amazing cat. He is 1 year old and possibly was hit by a car; he arrived with a scar on his face and his head is tilted. Twist also likes to be held, and slinks around and rolls in your arms. No description I can give is enough to share how fun this cat is in live action. Â
Bentley was a day away from being euthanized. They decided to take a chance on him. Animalkind, USA TODAY
The Pets of the Week are just a few of the animals awaiting adoption at the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter.
For information, visit southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org, send email to email@example.com, call (856) 691-1500 or visit the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter at 1244 N. Delsea Drive, Vineland.
Maria DeFillipo is the Junior Volunteer coordinator and foster care coordinator for the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter.
Itâs a baby turtle ambush!!!! Animalkind, USA TODAY
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