THE smart and sensible article below from the “pet” section of MarthaStewart’s web site, is fabulous – shedding light on how companion animals wind up in shelters and why no one should be afraid of adopting from a shelter. 

While we are on the subject of animal shelters, Asbury Park resident and pet lover, Sonja O’Brien is organizing a city-wide yard sale on September 26 – with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Rescue Ridge animal shelter – and needs your help.  (Sonja’s also the brains behind Asbury Park’s Lamppost Banner Program).

“Rescue Ridge is a unique animal shelter that takes in cats and dogs mostly deemed unadoptable and close to being euthanized,” said Sonja.  “They work tirelessly with these animals to rehabilitate them and place them in a loving home.  I personally took a tour of their operations and witnessed a team of dedicated volunteers. 

“To turn unwanted items into a good cause, kindly pledge to have a yard sale and then donate at least ten percent of the proceeds directly to Rescue Ridge.  All participants of the yard sales will receive their address listed in the advertising, all fliers posted around the area and will also fall under the town-wide permit that is required.

“And if you don’t want to have a sale, no worries…every sale needs buyers.”

You sell your extra stuff (we all have it).  Or buy someone else’s (you’ve got room).  Innocent animals benefit (there’s no better cause).  And Sonja does the tough lifting (figuratively) and coordinating.  It couldn’t be easier to do something positive and helpful. 

Email her at for more info. 

Dr. Pia Salk  Why Animals End Up at Shelters

I’m happy to report that overall, people seem to be getting better-educated about the amazing animals that exist in our country’s shelters and rescue groups. However, myths about shelter animals still exist. And the fears elicited by these myths only deter otherwise well-meaning people from finding their new best friend through adoption.

So I’m calling on all of you animal lovers out there to help me dispel these destructive myths! Are you in?

First of all, it may be helpful for people to understand that most animals wind up at shelters through no fault of their own. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, moving is the primary reason family pets are relinquished.

And landlords that don’t allow pets are one of the biggest obstacles for renters with companion animals. (Big kudos to any landlords out there who accommodate our furry family members: Research actually shows that this makes good business sense, too — but that’s a topic for another post!) Similarly, shelter personnel report that many companion animals are relinquished because an owner has died or is relocating to a senior facility that prohibits pets.

Other reasons topping the list include the cost of regular pet care, a lack of time, and allergies. Additionally, animals given as gifts (bad idea!) often end up at the shelter either because recipients are unable to keep them or the animals grew up and no one planned for them getting bigger. And it is a sad fact that litters born to unaltered animals often wind up in shelters en masse — all the more reason to adopt from the shelter, as they typically come already altered!

Finally, one of the most avoidable reasons that loyal family pets find themselves at the shelter is because they got lost and did not have a micro-chip or tag to facilitate a reunion with their family. I cannot overstate the importance of having both a tag and a micro-chip! So many well-meaning people proudly declare that their companion animals don’t need to have identification because they never leave their side. But unforeseen events can happen. You get the point.

Needless to say, these perfectly adoptable animals are ending up at shelters through no fault of their own! So it’s up to us to help them get into loving homes and to take the necessary steps to keep them from entering the shelter in the first place.

So I’ll ask you once again… are you in?

In Kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk,, (8/23/09)

Two of our area’s shelter’s are Monmouth County SPCA (Eatontown) and Rescue Ridge (Howell).