By Chris Lundy and Kimberly Bosco
JERSEY SHORE – It seems that there is a lot of bad news lately about suffering animals.
The natural instinct when reading these articles is outrage. How could someone do such a thing? Who is really the animal here?
If you’re saddened or angered by news like this – and you should be – know that there are ways to help animals locally.
There are several animal shelters that need donations and volunteers. They would welcome help from people who want to make the world better for animals in their area.
Calling All Cats Rescues, in Jackson, always needs kitten and cat chow, and cleaning supplies. They are currently well stocked with linens, said Sara Cameron, president and founder. They have an Amazon wish list that is pinned to the top of their Facebook page.
They are also looking for volunteers and foster families.
There was one situation recently where a hurt animal was helped by this organization. A feral cat, who might be a senior, was found on the side of Route 571, struck by a car. Fortunately, it was spotted by a volunteer for the organization. She thought she was dead until she saw movement.
The cat was brought to a vet, where she was given pain medication, anti-biotics, and an x-ray that revealed her back was broken. Doctors told her the humane thing would be to put her down.
“I wasn’t ready,” Cameron said. “If I put her down, I can’t reverse that.”
The cat was eating, drinking, and grooming herself. It didn’t look like a cat that had given up. The cat wasn’t ready to go, either.
Now, the cat is named Phoenix, and she lives at the sanctuary. She probably will spend the rest of her years here, since her medical care is more than what most people are able to do (which includes acupuncture). She was fitted for a harness that has wheels on it, and she pulls herself along with her front paws. She has grown accustomed to the shelter life, as opposed to being a stray, and has become affectionate.
“Every day she just keeps getting stronger and stronger,” she said.
At the Jersey Shore Animal Center in Brick, they are always in need of cat food, blankets, towels, sheets, and cleaning products, said Jaime Dunning, project director. Donations can be dropped off seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., although the adoption center is only open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.
Volunteers have to be 16 or older, and have to apply, she said.
Monetary donations can be given through the site: jerseyshoreanimalcenter.org.
The Toms River Animal Shelter is also looking for cat and kitten food, and particularly kitten formula. They are asking for KMR ready-made cans, powder, and Miracle Nipples, as well as experienced bottle feeders, 18 and older.
Serving locations in both Ocean and Monmouth Counties is Rescue Ridge Adoption. Rescue Ridge is always looking for volunteers to walk the dogs, socialize with the dogs and cats, as well as transport animals to adoption events and/or veterinary appointments.
“We can use people to help us at events, especially strong people who can help carry tents. We need people who can man the tables we need people who can talk to the public about Rescue Ridge,” stated Joan Parmese, Director of Operations at Rescue Ridge.
A volunteer application can be found at rescueridge.com. You must be 19 or older to volunteer.
If volunteering isn’t your thing, there are many other ways to help out. You can simply donate at rescueridge.com, or you can partake in their brick campaign. For $25, you can “honor your pet, a friend’s pet or even just a friend.”
If you wish to donate more than just money, you can visit Rescue Ridge’s site at rescueridge.com/about to view their Amazon wish list.
“If it is toys, we don’t normally take rope toys or anything too little since we deal mostly with larger animals. We do not accept open bags of food just for safety reasons and we like to keep our animals on a consistent diet,” stated Parmese. “Treats should only be made in America and probably should not be treated with irradiation”
If you are out and about, you can text 732-546-8805 to see what is needed at that time.
In southern Ocean County you will find the Ocean County Animal Shelter’s Manahawkin location as well as their partner organization, the Friends of the Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter (FOSOCAS).
The organization is always looking for volunteers that can get the dogs out for a bit of exercise.
“(Dog walker) orientations are held at the shelter on the first Saturday and the third Sunday of each month. Must be 21 years of age and have enough strength and balance to get the dogs in/out of their kennels and walk for extended period of time,” stated the Friends’ website.
To become a dog walker, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOSOCAS also needs individuals who are willing to foster cats or dogs, be “bottle babies” who bottle feed the very young kittens, or volunteer at their adoption centers.
More information on volunteer opportunities can be found at fosocas.org/programs.
“The donations we receive are used to purchase shelter equipment and provide supplementary medical/veterinary care to ensure high standards for the care and housing of pets,” stated their site.
Coin boxes can be found all over various locations in southern Ocean County. Make a difference with your spare change!
In addition to the traditional methods of donating time or money, Ocean County SPCA is taking advantage of the online shopping world to raise funds for their Save A Rescue animal charity. You can donate 0.5 percent of your online purchase to Save A Rescue when shopping on Amazon Smile by choosing them as your designated charity.
Lastly, the Associated Humane Societies of New Jersey has locations in Forked River in Ocean County and Tinton Falls in Monmouth County. On their website, you can find a wish list full of items needed at all their shelter locations.
The list includes dog and cat food, kitten and puppy food, nursing bottles, towels, wash cloths, toys, blankets, sheets, litter, collars, harnesses, leashes, paper towels, bird seed and toys, and more. To view the full wish list, visit ahscares.org/ContentPage/3009.
Here’s a quick reference guide to some of the animal centers in the area:
Name: Jersey Shore Animal Center
Address: 185 Brick Boulevard, Brick
Contact: (732) 920-1600
Name: Calling All Cats Rescues
Contact: (732) 773-0809
Name: Toms River Animal Shelter
Address: 235 Oak Ave, Toms River
Contact: (732) 341-1000 ext. 7300
Name: Northern Ocean County Animal Shelter
Address: 615 Freemont Avenue Jackson
Name: Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter
Address: 360 Haywood Road, Manahawkin
Name: Associated Humane Society Forked River
Address: Humane Way, Forked River
Name: Associated Humane Society Tinton Falls
Address: 2960 Shafto Road, Tinton Falls