Cats, horses, dogs await adoption by new friends

Roger the rabbit also needs a home to keep him safe, secure

BY JANE MEGGITT Staff Writer

BY JANE MEGGITT
Staff Writer

MILLSTONE — More than just a time for frantic mall shopping, the holiday season is a time of giving, of helping those who are down on their luck — and of supporting organizations that provide aid to the needy.

Among those who could use some holiday cheer are the many homeless animals helped by local shelters and rescue organizations.

While a new home would be the best present, the operators of many area animal charities are asking people to make monetary contributions to help care for the animals until a home can be found for them.

Millstone Township-based Adopt-A-Pet has been doing rescue and adoptions for more than 20 years. It is an all-volunteer organization that coordinates foster homes with the animals that need them. Among the dogs in need of a home is George, a Boston terrier.

Although George has only one eye, no one would ever know that he has a disability, according to Sharon Gaboff, the founder of Adopt-A-Pet. She said George has great manners, is housebroken, walks well on a leash and is up to date on all of his shots.

Someone abandoned the Boston terrier in northern New Jersey, but a good Samaritan notified the organization, Gaboff said. For more information about George and other dogs fostered by Adopt-A-Pet, call (732) 462-5184, or e-mail spayme@aol.com.

Kind Heart Rescue of Monmouth-Ocean is based in Cream Ridge. Among the many rabbits that would love a new home for Christmas is Roger. According to Kind Heart founder Jodi Caizza, Roger was born at the home of a “show breeder,” but when he was discovered to have less-than-perfect conformation, he was sent to a local slaughterhouse.

His flaw? As an English lop-eared rabbit, his ears were not long enough to be a winner in the show ring. After being rescued from the slaughterhouse, it was discovered that he had a nearly useless rear leg from a damaged patella, and the animal’s leg had to be amputated. Although he gets along well on three legs, Caizza said, Roger will need a home where his play area is carpeted so that he can get proper traction.

Purrfect Feline Friends of Cream Ridge is a private adoption group dedicated to finding the “purrfect” cat for an individual or family. The group will do its best to match a cat to an adopter’s needs, and will deliver the cat to its new home with supplies. On its Web site, the group currently has Maine Coon cats and some cats that have been declawed, as well as an assortment of other “adorable” kitties. Among them are two Himalayans, a brother and sister

named Max and Chloe.

Organization founder Cathy Spacak said these “beautiful” animals were given up by their owners because a family member was allergic to them. Max and Chloe are high maintenance, in that their thick, lush fur needs regular grooming. All available cats are healthy and have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and tested for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. For more information, call (609) 259-7759, or visit www.petfinder.org.

Jaymie Witherspoon of Roosevelt runs Jaymie’s Happy Cats Inc., a small no-kill shelter. She currently has nine kittens available for adoption and would like to find these spayed or neutered cats a home for Christmas. Two “nice” 6-month-old pure white kittens need a good home without other cats. They have the herpes virus in their eyes, so extra attention will have to be paid to their eye care. Jaymie rescued them before they were to be euthanized at an animal shelter. They are described as “purring like Harley-Davidsons.”

“Never has one mean thought crossed their minds,” Witherspoon said. “They look like cats of the rich and famous.” For more information, call (609) 448-8682.

Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) is celebrating the 1,500 adoptions it has had throughout its 15 years in existence. This year has been a record year, with more than 165 horses adopted, and more than 70 new horses coming into the program. There are currently more than 90 horses in need of good homes.

Of these, 18 are rideable, and 14 will be rideable once they undergo training or veterinary work, before being adopted. The remaining horses are “pasture mates” that cannot be ridden. SRF also waives the adoption donation for all pasture mates and will often ship the horse to the adopter.

According to SRF Placement Coordinator Margaret DeSarno, there is always a need for foster homes. Those adopting should be experienced horse people, and should have homes with safe horse facilities.

“Backyard facilities and larger boarding barns are both good opportunities for foster care,” said DeSarno. “Many foster cares choose to start horses under saddle and ride, while others house only ‘special needs’ or pasture mate horses.”

Foster care facilities are crucial to the foundation — which does not have its own farm — and SRF is actively searching for a farm in New Jersey so that it can “further expand helping horses,” according to DeSarno.

Seven SRF horses are currently being fostered in Millstone at two different farms. There are three 2-year-old fillies, whose names are Skymeadow Haley, Computer Outlaw, and Ramas Mattie. They were three of 10 horses purchased at a recent auction by a prominent standardbred owner and breeder to ensure that they did not go to slaughter and instead would be placed in safe homes.

All three fillies, DeSarno said, are very sound, need a kind adopter to gain their trust and will make excellent riding and/or driving horses. SRF offers completely sound, young and healthy horses for adoption for $500. For more information, call SRF at (732) 462-8773, or visit www.adoptahorse.org.