Eight weeks ago Heather Jensen and Amy Quinn were walking dogs at the Tinton Falls Humane Society and noticed many of the canine companions were missing blankets.

The ladies spoke with friends and posted a request on “The List,” the Yahoo group for gay and lesbian Asbury Park homeowners.  The rest is history.

“Everybody has a blanket sitting in their closet that they don’t need,” said Debra Norton of Ocean Township.  “Heather is doing something simple that will have huge impact.  I wish everyone here would take an hour away from surfing the net each week and do something positive.”

Amy Quinn with Lailo. Lailo, with the most adorable white paws, needs a new home. "He will give you loads of affection and loves to play with you," said Heather Jensen.

I spoke with Jensen regarding the new grass roots group she and Quinn have created, “Toys for Pups.”

TBP:  How much do you estimate that you have collected for the shelter animals in just a few weeks?

Jensen:  I’d say at least 25 pounds of treats and food, 10 dog beds, a few carloads of comforters and towels, a trunk full of toys, and one crate have been donated from people in the community.

Also, a lot of people are donating money.  Cindy from the Dawg Joint has agreed to sell us supplies that are on sale or give us a discount so the money would go further.

TBP:  What’s the impact you have seen from your efforts at the Humane Society?

Jensen:  No matter how hard we try to give the animals comfort and exercise, it in no way compares to them having a home. If you’re thinking of adding a companion animal to your family, please adopt.  There are so many great animals that spend 23.5 hours a day in a cage and they would give you a lifetime of gratitude if you just gave them a chance.

Like Lailo (photo above), who is a wonderful, gentle, playful, friendly, one year-old male Terrier mix who came to the shelter as a stray and had been attacked by other dogs.  He is full of love and life.  He will give you loads of affection and loves to play with you.  He is gentle to walk, gentle to play with – just a wonderful, forgiving soul.  Even after his ordeal, Lailo is still dog friendly!

That said, what we’re doing is a part of a larger effort.  People are really awesome in how much they care and their willingness to help out.  People have been stepping up with toys, blankets, treats, and more.  And a lot of people have been asking their friends and neighbors if they have any donations.

Another volunteer wrote letters to all the local hotels asking them if we can have their old comforters when they change their bedding.  Another few volunteers take pictures and videos of all the animals to get their faces in front of potential adopters.

Our volunteer coordinator, Lori Lane, is a tireless leader who encourages ideas and provides thoughtful guidance.

What can I say?  This is an awesome community.

Like “Toys for Pups” on Facebook.  Email Jensen (hajensen@gmail.com) if you have a donation or drop it off at the Dawg Joint on Bangs Avenue.