The holidays are always an extra-special time at the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter. In addition to the decorations and spirit of celebration brought about by cheerful volunteers and staff members, we especially enjoy seeing animals finding their adoptive homes just in time for the holidays. This year, we were able to enjoy some extra-special holiday miracles as well.
Our first miracle involved two really great cats: Lucious Frozone, a gorgeous gray tomcat; and Krampus, a very old short-hair. Both had medical conditions that needed more attention than the shelter was able to provide, so we reached out for help. We were very concerned, however, as both were rapidly declining. Just days before Christmas, one of our most wonderful partners responded and offered to take not one cat, but both into their rescue to receive veterinary care. Cape Atlantic CATS has been providing Lucious and Krampus with the medical care they need in hopes that they will be ready for adoption in the new year!
For the past year or so, South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter has been working with some families as part of our community outreach program. The main goal of the program has been to keep senior or difficult-to-place pets either with their families or connect them with rescue groups to avoid them staying in the shelter. This is beneficial not only to the animals, but to the shelter as well, as we have been struggling with high intake numbers and limited space available.
One of our rescue partners contacted us about a family who desperately needed help with their dog, a handsome pit bull named Blue. Just before Christmas, Blue had accidentally gotten out and been hit by a car. His family rushed him to the vet but received terrible news: Without expensive surgery to amputate his front leg, Blue couldn’t be saved. This surgery was quoted to cost thousands of dollars.
Heartbroken, the family reached out for help and made the very difficult decision to let Blue go to a rescue organization. Although they did not want to lose their beloved family pet, they realized that letting him go might be his only chance to receive the surgery he needed so badly. We reached out to our partner organizations to see if any help was available for Blue. Our rescue partner One Love Animal Rescue was interested in helping Blue, and arrangements were made for one of their representatives to meet with the family and Blue to see what the next steps would be.
We were also contacted by a very generous partner, Animal Mojo, who offered financial support to Blue’s family. We all worked together and determined that the best possible outcome for Blue was to stay with his family while he received the vet care he needed. This outcome was more than I had hoped for him, and thanks to the generosity of people who had never even met him. Truly, Blue had received a Christmas miracle, and we have since received several updates and so much gratitude from his family.
We’re happy to share that Blue is making a wonderful recovery. The rescue also was able recommend a different vet who saw Blue and was even able to save his leg! Seeing pictures of Blue under the tree with his family is a reminder of why community outreach is so important.
We’re pleased that in 2019 one of the shelter’s goals is to expand our Community Outreach program. We plan to collaborate with not only our partner organizations, but also organizations throughout the community to support the needs of families and pets in Cumberland and Salem counties. We know that now, more than ever, support for our community animals is needed. Although they face many challenges in the year ahead and the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter is ready to meet those challenges and make 2019 a year we continue to move forward for the animals of our shelter and our community.