Peter Pan was a lovable 7-year-old tabby cat with a 17 pound frame who “meows literally like he's auditioning for Hamilton,” according to a volunteer for Best Friends Animal Society, a non-profit group based in New York City that organized the event. Several local animal groups were there as well, including the Bayonne Feral Cat Foundation.
Around 600 dogs, cats, and even rabbits were up for adoption at the two-day event. Thirty rescue groups were involved. According to a spokesperson for Best Friends, 223 cats and dogs were adopted on the event’s first day.
All of the animals came from local municipal shelters, properly neutered/spayed, vaccinated, and microchipped in advance.
“We obviously think adoption is the best way,” said Robyn O' Brien, co-founder of animal rescue group PupStarz, explaining the importance of adoption events. “All these animals are amazing. They're not damaged; they're not bad dogs and cats. There's just an overpopulation due to breeders and pet stores. Events like this let people interact with animals so they can consider adoption.”
O' Brien added that these events are useful because they prevent overcrowding in shelters, which often start euthanizing animals once they get full. In addition, they teach people how rescue animals can make great pets for the future, she added.
Some towns have their own municipal animal shelters, and the rest contract out to area shelters. Secaucus operates a municipal shelter on Meadowlands Parkway.
North Bergen and Bayonne do not have municipal shelters but contract with New Jersey Animal Control and Rescue, which catches strays in town and takes them to the New Jersey Humane Society’s shelter in West New York. That shelter is located at 6412 Dewey Ave. You can contact them at 201-822-7333.
Other area towns have small shelters or contract with the Liberty Humane Society shelter in Jersey City.
“We obviously think adoption is the best way.” – Robyn O’ Brien
Near Peter Pan, Elvis-Big Orange Boy was lounging around. Another fat cat weighing in at 19 pounds, he is “shy at first, but very lovey,” his description said.
Cats not your style? There was also Lynard, a 7-year-old black Labrador Retriever who “loves to cuddle all night long,” but prefers not to share his tennis balls.
Or Gizmo, a dog who was born without eyes, but has adapted well to that condition.
“He's pretty fearless; we have to keep a close eye on him,” said Donna Ezzell, the director of the Carolina Poodle Rescue, the animal rescue group sheltering the punchy pooch. “Otherwise he'll go rushing in, where angels fear to tread.”
Missed the expo? You can visit pets up for adoption at the Secaucus shelter Mondays to Wednesdays from 12 to 2:30 p.m., Thursdays from 12 to 3 p.m., Fridays from 12 to 2:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 4:30 p.m. The shelter is located at 525 Meadowlands Pkwy. Call 201-348-3213 for more information.
Liberty Humane Society shelter in Jersey City is open for viewing animals Tuesday through Friday from 2 to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adoption fees cost $120 for adult cats and $150 for kittens. Adult dogs run for $175; puppies run for $225. Call 201 547-4147 for more information.
Hannington Dia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org