Save The Animals Rescue Team II (S.T.A.R.T. II), started in 1989, is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 status organization dedicated to alleviating the plight of homeless and abandoned companion animals. Twice a week we visit a local pound and take as many adoptable animals as we can. These animals are provided veterinary care, clean living conditions, exercise and socialization.
We work with potential adopters to find that perfect match, giving them a "fur"- ever home for life. In addition, we educate the public on the importance of spaying/neutering as well as offering low cost options, vaccinations, preventive medications, and proper living conditions for their new and existing pets.
This lifesaving work is critical for many of these unfortunate animals, since their only crime was to be born unwanted. Since our inception, we have rescued and placed over 7,000 dogs and cats.
OVER 35 YEARS DEDICATED SERVICE
Founded by S.T.A.R.T II President, Marge Kayne
S.T.A.R.T. II has a 35-year history that has taken the organization from Marge's garage to a thriving organization with over 100 volunteers and thousands of lives saved.
Marge was volunteering with the original S.T.A.R.T. organization when she decided to strike out on her own, to address some of the more pressing spay/neuter needs she felt were not being taken care of by the group. She named her effort S.T.A.R.T. II, and working out of her garage, she began taking in strays from the Elmwood Park area. Working together with Donna Eliot, they had these cats spayed or neutered, released the ferals, and kept the friendly ones to adopt out into loving homes. The occasional dog was also welcomed and re-homed. When Marge visited the Caribbean on vacation, she would always end up bringing stray cats back with her to adopt out.
After a few years, they placed an ad in the paper for a foster home for a dog, and met Ellen Forwalk. Ellen, who worked at Rockland Psychiatric facility, suggested S.T.A.R.T. II could use a physical building on the premises. She arranged for Marge and Donna to move into one of the abandoned buildings, which was refurbished with cages, runs and a cat room. For the next 13 years, the Rockland Psychiatric facility enabled the organization to grow. They took in more volunteers and introduced a program for patients to socialize with the animals. During this time, S.T.A.R.T. II secured the first PetSmart adoption center location in Paramus, where, 18 years later they are still doing adoptions!
Eventually, the Rockland Psychiatric property was sold to the town of Orangetown, leaving S.T.A.R.T. II in need of a new home. Thankfully, Donna Eliot was able to secure what is now our existing home, but was then the former Englewood Animal shelter. While smaller than the Rockland facility, it's a wonderful, centralized location for us, and closer to the now three adoption centers.
In addition to the main shelter building, we have permanent adoption centers in Paramus, Wayne and Nanuet within PetSmart. Our TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) program is expansive, with the bulk of the work, nearly 500 TNRs annually, taking place in Paterson, NJ and the surrounding areas. There is always more good work that needs to be done, and Marge is continually 'shaking the tree' to find more volunteers, foster homes, and more sources of income. It is a necessary part of the job. She also works hard at petitioning the state of New Jersey and local governments for assistance while fighting for legislation to implement a mandatory spay/neuter program for rescued and shelter pets.
Marge recognizes that it is the volunteers that keep S.T.A.R.T. II thriving after all these years. "I could not do what I do without their dedication and hard work" she says. "Each and every one of them makes a difference in saving lives. Some days it seems like we can't get on top of all the work that needs to be done in the areas we serve. And I know that makes us all frustrated. But then each of us looks into the eyes of a cat or dog who was rescued, and sees that we are making a real difference to that one life, it makes it all worthwhile. Here's to another 35 years!"