The Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter, Inc. Interview
Fortified Roofing is a local roofing company from Mt Laurel, New Jersey, specialized in repairing and replacing various roofing configuration. Recently, we began some local campaigns to promote many non-profit and non-governmental organizations situated in New Jersey.
We got a great idea, and that is to take a short interview so that everyone could hear about their existence. Today we spoke to The Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter, Inc. who takes care of the abandoned pets and helps them in finding a new home.
During the conversation, we found out that they are always happy to meet the new volunteers. So, if you like animals and would like to help them out with many upcoming events, making toys and raising money, read this interview and contact the organization right after!
The Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The all-volunteer group cooperates with the county animal shelter to care for shelter pets and place them into adoptive homes. We also work to reduce the number of homeless pets in our community by sponsoring low-cost spay-neuter surgeries. The group was founded in November 2010 and incorporated in February 2012. Our mission statement is: We enhance the lives of shelter animals and help them find homes. We also help reduce the number of homeless animals in our community by sponsoring a low-cost spay/neuter program. Our goals are: Helping the animals be happy and healthy in the shelter. We interact with the animals by walking the dogs and playing with the cats, which helps them release stress and pent-up energy, as well as improving their overall health and adoptability. Helping the animals move from the shelter into forever homes, foster homes, and no-kill animal rescues. We promote the animals in a variety of ways, including helping post information to adoption websites, such as Petfinder, and acting as a liaison for the shelter with foster homes and no-kill rescues. Reducing the number of homeless pets in our community by sponsoring low-cost spay/neuter surgeries. We are extremely proud to be a Platinum level member of GuideStar, an organization that ranks non-profits on their financial transparency. We’re also very proud to have been named 2017 Best Charity by the readers of the Burlington County Times. This is our third consecutive year as best charity! BCT readers also awarded our Barb Feldstein Memorial Raining Cats & Dogs Pet Fest the 2017 Best Outdoor Event award, as well as the One of the Best Family Events award. We are also a proud participant in Shelter Animals Count, a collaborative initiative formed by a diverse group of stakeholders to create and share a national database of sheltered animal statistics, providing facts, and enabling insights that will save lives.
1. What do you do exactly?
I am the vice president of the Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter. In that role, I assist the president with administrative duties, serve as a liaison with shelter management and staff members, and handle or oversee nearly all internal and external communications, including the website and social media accounts. While I didn’t start the organization, I became a member because I would like Burlington County to be a no-kill county and believe that animals that are healthier and better socialized are more adoptable.
2. What motivates you?
I am motivated by my love of animals. I also believe that all animals deserve a loving home. Some of my proudest moments as a volunteer have been when I’ve helped a dog get adopted. In many cases, it’s like being a matchmaker — you have to learn what the potential adopter wants in a dog and then match those desires with a dog’s personality and size.
3. Tell us about your goals
My goal is to have the Burlington County Animal Shelter be the best shelter in the state and have it be the first place people in the county think of when they want to add a pet to their lives. I would also like to see breed-discrimination legislation banned in all states, as well as have TNR (trap-neuter-return) ordinances for community cats adopted in all the state’s municipalities.
4. What was the hardest/toughest moment you had to deal with?
Because we are a non-profit organization, money is always tight. Sometimes we just don’t have the funds to pay for extensive surgery that isn’t guaranteed to save an animal’s life. Raising money is an ongoing operation for us, something that all our board members do almost every day. Every penny we raised is used to help the shelter animals, whether for medical care, special training or special food. We are so appreciative of everyone who supports our mission, but I won’t lie, raising money is the hardest part.
5. What was the most fulfilling moment that happened to you?
The most fulfilling thing I’ve done as a volunteer is foster and then adopt a 10-year-old pit bull who had had a very difficult life. When he came to live with us, he was covered in scars and was super skinny. He had health issues, but while he was with us, he knew that he was loved and cherished. The tail wags and smiles he gave us every day are something I will always remember.
6. What separates you from the rest? Why you?
I think what sets our group apart is our ability to work with the shelter, county government, rescue groups in the area and veterinarians. We work very hard to maintain good relationships with all entities so we can network and find the best help/care available for an animal.
7. Do you have any upcoming events in the forthcoming months?
Yes! Here is a list:
October 28-December 3, 2017: Santa Paws 50/50 raffle, Burlington County Animal Shelter
October 28, 2017: Pit Bull Awareness Day, Burlington County Animal Shelter
November 1, 2017: Low-cost spay/neuter clinic, Burlington County Library, Westampton
November 2, 2017: Low-cost spay/neuter clinic, Burlington County Library, Westampton
November 10, 2017: Low-cost spay/neuter clinic, Burlington County Library, Westampton
November 16, 2017: Low-cost spay/neuter clinic, Burlington County Library, Westampton
November 18, 2017: Low-cost spay/neuter clinic, Burlington County Library, Westampton
November 20, 2017: Low-cost spay/neuter clinic, Burlington County Library, Westampton
December 3, 2017: Pet Pictures with Santa, Burlington County Animal Shelter, Westampton, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
April, 28, 2018: Barb Feldstein Memorial Raining Cats & Dogs Pet Fest, Burlington County Animal Shelter, Westampton, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
8. What is it that you love most about what you do?
Meeting and walking dogs. So many of them are just waiting for a chance to get outside and hang out with people.
9. What is the biggest challenge you’re faced with today?
Finding people to foster sick, young or behaviorally-challenged animals, especially kittens that have to be bottle fed. Each spring, there is a kitten explosion in New Jersey and there just isn’t enough room at the shelter for them all. Plus, the immune system of young kittens isn’t fully developed, so they stay healthier if they’re in a foster home. Adding 30 more people to our kitten foster program would be a dream.
10. Anything else you would like to add?
We are always looking for new volunteers! Besides walking dogs and cuddling cats, we always need people to help out with events, making toys and raising money. So even if you can’t come to the shelter, we’d still love to have you as a member!