A special event Aug. 18 hoping to find forever homes for the cats and dogs at Toms River’s municipal animal shelter will waive adoption fees.
Normally the fees are $100 for dogs and $60 for cats. These fees include spaying or neutering and having the animals up to date on shots.
As of mid-week, the shelter has seven dogs ready for adoption, most of them pit bull mixes, said Animal Shelter Division Manager Rich Barbosa. “But we have a Plott Hound and a very cute elderly Chihuahua available.”
For example, there’s Boo, a 13 year-old Chihuahua who shelter staff said always seems to be smiling. He loves going on walks.
Looking for a feline friend? The shelter also has 22 cats ready for adoption.
“We did a cat event about three weeks ago because we were up around 40 and were lucky to get 10 cats adopted. Most of the cats are adults but we may have a kitten or two available,” said Barbosa.
This is the second time Toms River has participated in a “Clear the Shelter” campaign, part of a national marketing effort to find homes for shelter animals.
“We did participate in last year’s clear the shelter event, and while I do not have the exact numbers I do know that we did get a few cats and dogs adopted on that day,” he said. “Our goals concerning the event are to simply get as many animals adopted as possible.”
The Toms River animal shelter does more than work to find forever homes for pets. For example some of the pets are there due to a court case or legal matter such as pet hoarding and are not necessarily up for adoption, but staying at the shelter.
“While our adoptable dog numbers are low, there are other dogs here from various court cases that are taking up room for an indefinite amount of time so we do get concerned as far as space is concerned. We have had in the past hoarding situations that can fill us up very quickly,” said Barbosa. “Last year we had a case where we had to take 19 dogs out of a very bad situation. This happened in one day and we never know when the next one might happen. The same goes for cats, last year as well we had to take 21 cats out of horrible conditions and house them here.”
The adoption process starts with an application, and the adopter is vetted by the shelter.
“For requirements a potential adopter must first fill out our application and then meet with the animal they are interested in. I go over the applications thoroughly and we do what we call a ‘vet check’ if they have other or previous animals to see if they are responsible pet owners,” said Barbosa. “This is a very important aspect of the application because if we see that they did not take care of their other pets properly we would be very concerned as far as adopting out another animal to them.”
He said there’s also some tips and education given to first time pet owners.
“Sometimes there are first time adopters and no vet records to check. When this happens we try to interview them as much as possible and educate them as far as what they are going to be responsible for when they adopt a pet into their home,” Barbosa said.
A new pet owner may not realize the transition and work required, he said.
“A lot of people do not realize how much work it is to own a pet and when you adopt a shelter animal they can sometimes require even more love and care,” he said.
Those who rent their home should bring a copy of their lease, too.
“The only other thing I would say to have with you if you are adopting is a lease stating you can have animals if you rent,” he said. “Also if a potential adopter brings in their vet records we can do the check then and there without having to call their vet.”
For more information, call the animal shelter at 732-341-1000 ext. 7300.