Meet the 11 adorable cats and dogs who have long lived in NJ animal shelters

Liam likes treats, walks and games. Austin is good with children. And Sweet Momma is a cuddly purr machine. But, sadly, all of these furbabies are known as longtime pets in New Jersey animal shelters, unable to find their forever homes.

Of the 53,892 dogs and cats that entered New Jersey shelters in 2020, 35,976 found placement or were redeemed by their owners, according to the latest data provided by the New Jersey Department of Health. That’s a total state savings rate of 67%, slightly higher than last year’s 66%. But what happened to those who couldn’t find accommodation?

In New Jersey, impounded animals must only be held for seven days in a licensed facility before adoption or euthanasia. In 2020, the state euthanized 8% of all impounded cats and dogs. This represents a decrease from 2019, when 11% were euthanized, but it still means 4,106 dogs and cats were put down. The thousands of animals currently in New Jersey shelters are hoping to avoid a similar fate. For these animals, as well as the shelter staff and volunteers caring for them, the new year brings with it renewed hope of finding forever families.

NJ Advance Media reached out to shelters across the state to learn more about their “long stragglers” — an endearing term for animals that have been in the shelter system for a long time. Their stays ranged from two months in the shelter to three years in one case. These animals are fortunate to be housed in shelters that have chosen not to be euthanized due to space, length of stay, or treatable/manageable conditions. However, that’s a poor quality of life for a dog, said Geoffrey Santini, founder of New Jersey Animal Control and Rescue and New Jersey Humane Society.

“Shelters can be noisy and distressing places, and the dog is affected by this. It’s not the best place to keep them safe and comfortable – it’s not a long-term solution like a forever home,” said Santini, who has been involved in animal control for 30 years. year.

Staff and volunteers said there are a number of reasons an animal becomes a long-term shelter – medical conditions, behavioral issues, racial discrimination. But every long-timer could become the perfect companion if given the chance, they said. So without further ado, meet the eligible long timers at New Jersey animal shelters.

Bluebell (three months impounded) and Ronnie (two months) at Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, Inc. in Bergen County

Bluebell, left, and Ronnie, right, are regulars at the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, Inc.

Bluebell, an American pit bull terrier, is a senior who was rescued from a local hoarding situation when his owner passed away. Although she’s 12, Bluebell still has lots of energy and enjoys her walks, said general manager Megan Brinster. Although she loves human attention, she prefers to be the only pet and can be reactive with other dogs.

Ronnie is a Dutch Shepherd mix who is going through a particularly tough time in the kennel surrounded by barking dogs. Considered 7-8 years old, Ronnie acts younger than his age and is an active 70-pound dog who likes to keep busy. He prefers to be the only pet in a household.

Interested in adopting Bluebell or Ronnie? You can apply here.

Two-year-old Liam impounded at AHS-Newark in Essex County

Liam with AHS-Newark

Liam is an almost 5 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier who has worked at AHS-Newark for almost two years.

Liam is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who has worked at AHS-Newark for almost two years. He is 5 years old and full of energy but may seem shy at first as he is wary of strangers. But over time, he’s extremely kind and affectionate, said Olivia Gonzalez, social media coordinator for Associated Humane Societies – Newark. Liam also worked with a trainer on his commands and walking skills.

“Liam loves treats, walks and recreation and would benefit from a patient and understanding adopter who can give Liam the time he needs to unwind from his extended stay at the shelter,” Gonzalez said.

Interested in adopting Liam? Complete an adoption application here. AHS – Newark is also open for walk-in appointments from noon to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

Sweet Momma (four months in the pound) Bessy (one year) and Roxy (one year) at EASEL Animal Rescue League in Mercer County

Sweet Momma at EASEL Animal Rescue League

Sweet Momma is 2 and a half years old and spent four long months at the EASEL Animal Rescue League shelter.

Two-and-a-half-year-old Sweet Momma was found outside four months ago trying to protect her litter of kittens. Each of her babies has been adopted, but Sweet Momma is left behind. Described as a “purring machine”, Sweet Momma would thrive in a low activity home.

Interested in adopting Sweet Momma? You can apply here.

Bessy and Roxy at the EASEL

Bessy, left, and Roxy, right, have both been at EASEL Animal Rescue League for over a year looking for their forever home.

Bessy is a 4-year-old Staffordshire terrier mix who has been waiting for over a year for her permanent home. The 80-pound girl has been described as “calm, affectionate and very manageable” by her foster families, but she is strong and will need an owner who can handle her physically, said Mark Phillips, director of animal services for EASEL Animal. Lifesaving League. Bessy should also be the only pet in the home and would be happiest with children 12 and older.

Roxy is a friendly 9-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix who was turned over to the shelter over a year ago when her owner became unemployed. She was adopted for a time and did very well with young children, but was turned away due to the many dogs in the area and fears that she would get loose on her walks. However, Roxy is very easy at home and welcoming to visitors. Prospective owners should be aware that Roxy has a skin condition which is treated with diet and antibiotics.

“She’s lacked structure in her life and will need some work, but she’s very affectionate and loves attention,” Phillips said.

Interested in adopting Bessy or Roxy? Apply here.

Three-year-old petunia in the pound at the Monmouth County SPCA in Monmouth County

Petunia at the Monmouth County SPCA

Petunia is a trusty mix available from the Monmouth County SPCA.

Petunia is a 3 year old pit bull mix who has spent most of her life at the shelter. She struggles with “stranger danger”, so she takes a few meetings to get acquainted with new people and she can also get scared in unfamiliar situations. At the same time, Petunia has lots of staff and volunteer friends that she adores and when she’s around them, she’s the perfect canine companion, said Lindsay Sanator, media and marketing manager for the County SPCA. Monmouth. With the right person and the right environment, Petunia would be a wonderful addition to a family, Sanator said.

Interested in adopting Petunia? Contact the Monmouth County SPCA Adoption Service at [email protected] or 732-542-5962.

Austin, three months in the pound, and Reese, three months, at the Parsippany Animal Shelter in Morris County

Austin and Reese at Parsippany Animal Shelter

Austin, left, and Reese, right, are regulars at the Parsippany Animal Shelter.

Austin is a sweet 8-year-old pit bull mix from the Bahamas. He’s a “goofy, fun-loving, sweet, well-mannered guy” who will make a “fantastic companion”, said Heidi Mooney, assistant animal control officer at Parsippany Animal Control and Shelter.

Austin loves other dogs and is good with children, making him an ideal family pet.

Reese is a 3-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever mix who greets everyone with a happy, bouncing tail wag and wriggling behind. She is very friendly, loves to play and has a lot of energy. Reese also gets along well with other dogs.

Interested in adopting Austin or Reese? Apply here.

Lawyer, nine months old impounded, at Vernon animal shelter in Sussex county

Vernon Animal Shelter Lawyer

Avocado is 8-9 years old and has lived her entire life as a colony cat until she was taken in by Vernon Animal Shelter last spring.

Avocado is believed to be between 8 and 9 years old and spent her entire life as a colony cat until she was taken in by Vernon Animal Shelter last spring. Although she is shy, Avocado gets along well with other cats and enjoys being brushed by humans. She has a good appetite but mainly eats wet food because she has a tooth that she would benefit from having removed. The avocado is neutered, fully vaccinated and negative for FIV/FELV.

Interested in adopting Avocado? Apply here.

Sebastian, five months in the pound, at the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter in the county of Somerset

Sebastian at the Somerset Regional Animal Sanctuary

Sebastian is a 1.5 male at the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter.

Sebastian is a handsome 1.5-year-old male with a big personality, staff at the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter said. He is a social and curious boy who likes to be with people, as long as you respect his limits. Sebastian is selective with other cats, but he can get along with laid-back peers. He likes being held, walking on a leash and playing with toys. So why is he still at the shelter?

“In short, he can be spicy when he’s frustrated…so he’ll do best with an experienced owner who’s familiar with cat behavior and knows when to give him his space,” said Rose Tropeano, the shelter’s assistant manager.

Interested in adopting Sébastien? The shelter is open from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily and you can submit a request here.

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jackie roman can be attached to [email protected] and @ByJackieRoman.

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Jennifer R. Strohm