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South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter is full and more strays are arriving

For most of us, there are no memories more sentimental, no moments more special, than those being home celebrating the holidays. A couple of times when I was a young adult, I wasn’t able to be home for Christmas and I found it very depressing; but at least I had a home to go to.

Sadly, that’s not the case for the cats and dogs that are still here at the shelter. In spite of having adopted out nearly 200 animals in the past month, the dog kennels and cat cages are still nearly full.

It seems that the pandemic has thrown off the normal comings and goings at the shelter. In 2020 we took in fewer animals than normal, but this year they haven’t stopped pouring in the door. It’s unprecedented to still have so many homeless pets coming in during November and December.

In many ways, 2021 has been even more challenging than the previous year.

Glitter, a six-month-old grey and white kitten, has spent nearly her entire life here; her only respite being some weeks in a foster home. She came in as tiny undernourished kitten that needed care and nurturing to get her ready for adoption. When one of our rescue partners expressed interest in her, they asked that she be tested for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency; tests which are not always accurate at such a young age. Unfortunately, she tested positive for the feline leukemia virus and her chance to go to the rescue organization was dashed.

A second test weeks later also came back positive and it seems to have ruined any chance of this gorgeous little girl getting the chance to ever experience a loving home of her own. Many cats live for years with the virus, hopefully she’ll get that opportunity.  She has wheedled her way into the hearts of our staff as she leaps onto our shoulders whenever we open her cage door. She was completely unfazed when I brought her to my office to meet my dogs. She is actually “helping” me write this column as she walks across my desk, rubbing against me and stepping on my keyboard, as if editing my work. I am afraid she’ll miss the joy of playing with discarded wrapping paper and bows on Christmas morning.

Jazz

Jazz, one of our favorite dogs, is a very pretty girl of six years with long legs and a delicate build. She was relinquished by her owners more than three months ago because she preferred to be on the outside of the fence rather than stay in it. Jazz may have some sight hound in her, giving her a penchant for chasing squirrels and other small furry things like cats.

When she first came in, we felt sure she would be adopted quickly because of her friendliness, good looks and her penchant for having fun; but no such luck. Not everyone has a fence and we were hoping that someone that leash walks their dog would come along, but again, no such luck. This is a dog that has always woken up with her family on Christmas morning; how sad that she will not have that this year.

May you and your family have safe, warm and happy holidays with your own furry companions.

Shelter needs: Canned dog and cat food (pate’ style), hot dogs, cheese sticks, canned chicken, low sodium chicken or beef broth, peanut butter, soft dog treats, large dog toys and chews, and gift cards for pet supply and grocery outlets.

Source: South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter is full and more strays are arriving

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