Route 17 North, Paramus, NJ
(Opposite The Garden State Plaza)
Saturdays: 11am - 3pm (Dogs)
10:30am - 9pm (Cats)
Wednesdays & Fridays: 7pm - 9pm (Cats only)
57 Route 23, Wayne, NJ
Fridays 6pm to 9pm (Cats only)
Saturdays 10am to 4pm (Cats only)
Sundays 11am to 6pm (Cats only)
155 E. Route 59, Nanuet, NJ
Saturdays 11am - 4pm (Cats only)
Sundays 12am - 3pm (Cats only)
"TAIL" OF THE MONTH
Meet the S.T.A.R.T. II Team at the Nanuet Petsmart Adoption CenterThe Nanuet Petsmart Adoption Center opened its doors in 2003. START II was there from the beginning, running one shift a day, with a fragmented group of people. Little by little, new volunteers joined and eventually we banded together to form the tightly run, committed team you see today. Currently, 28 volunteers are responsible for running at least two shifts per day, with adoptions held on Saturdays, Sundays and by appointment. In 12 years, our 'cat room' has adopted out over 1,000 cats and kittens into mostly forever homes (as with all our adoption centers, there have been some returns over the years). Some of our furbabies have been with us longer than we've preferred; group coordinator Sue Lynne likes to say their new owners are coming eventually - they're just stuck in traffic. That said, we work with our cats to ensure they stay mentally and physically healthy, put them into foster when and if necessary, or rotate them with our Paramus or Wayne adoption centers if we feel it is in their best interest. Ask any of the Nanuet volunteers, and almost all will tell you the thing we are most proud of is the fact that we take the time to get to know the personalities of every cat that comes into our room. We are not afraid to work with those shelter cats that are a little more challenging - the ones who are frightened, who don't get along with other cats, or who just need a little more attention. We've found that oftentimes, with a little extra effort, we are able to turn those cats around and find the right homes where they are able to truly thrive. All of us have fond memories of those challenging cats (the occasional scars notwithstanding!), and it means so much when their pet parents come to visit and tell us how well they are doing. The other thing we are proud of is that through our passion for cats we have formed strong friendships over the years. Sue hosts a party every year or so, and we enjoy getting together and sharing stories. When illness or personal issues prevent one of us from covering a shift, we can always count on someone stepping in to cover. Every so often, a particular cat will tug at the heartstrings of a volunteer and winds up going home with them. Over the years, our volunteers have personally adopted over 30 of our cats, many of whom were longer term residents or had special needs. We are proud to be S.T.A.R.T. II volunteers, and tell that to anyone who will listen. The commitment everyone in this organization gives in ensuring the best possible outcomes for our cats and dogs is something all rescue groups should strive to achieve!
Some things you may not know about us:
- Our longest volunteers have been with the Nanuet group for over 12 years
- One of our volunteers started with us as a middle school student. Now 25!, she still returns from time to time to cover shifts when needed.
- ARC of Rockland, an organization that works with adults who are learning disabled or who have other developmental challenges, brings a small group into the Nanuet cat room once a week for pet therapy - to the benefit of both cats and humans!
- We make a point of keeping all our volunteers up-to-date on the cats in our room. Both a daily log and weekly emails are used to let cat room volunteers know about adoptions and new arrivals, as well as special instructions or helpful tips in working with our cats. This helps us maintain the continuity that is so important in turning around some of our more challenged cats, and helps us readily tend to any cats who may be coming down with a cold or other illness.
- Many of us talk to each other - alot. We pick each other's brains when it comes to figuring out the best way to reach a cat who seems to be struggling, or if we are having problems with our own pets.
- We are all firm believers in taking the cats who have been at the shelter the longest. Some of the ones who have been earmarked as challenging and left sitting at the shelter have come into our room and blossomed into absolutely wonderful cats.
A decade of dedication
START II volunteer helps prevent pet overpopulation
Most of us love animals, but few of us go to the extremes Donna Moussa does to protect and save them. Donna, a START II volunteer, runs the trap/neuter/release (TNR) program, caring for about 300 cats each year. It all started 10 years ago when a stray cat wandered into her yard. She followed it across the street and found a colony of over 40 strays living there. She knew something needed to be done.
Following her heart
Thus a hobby was born and that hobby soon became a passion. Every week, Donna - often accompanied by Donna Douglas or Donna Eliot, other START II volunteers - humanely traps cats, drives them to Monroe NY to be neutered at The Animal Rights Alliance or TARA (START II pays for the procedure). Then, if they're wild, she releases them back to their environment, but if they're friendly, the Donnas bring them to the Englewood shelter for adoption. Donna focuses her attention on the town of Paterson because there is a big stray population and the local shelters - unlike START II - don't have a no-kill policy. "At first I thought I would be able to neuter all the stray cats everywhere," Donna explains. "But I soon realized I needed to focus on one area that needed the most attention." At any given week, Donna has about 20 cats in the TNR cycle.
Giving back to the community
Clearly this volunteer has a soft spot for animals, but if you're imagining her home overrun with cats, think again. Donna lives with her husband Eddie, her dog Lucy and her cat Izzy. Izzy was one of her TNR "clients" but when she learned the animal was diabetic, she decided to keep her so she would get the care she needed. While it sometimes seems like a car-full of hissing cats are not exactly thankful for her efforts, Donna knows she's doing good work. "I feel like I'm doing something to improve the community," she remarks. "It's my mission."
Puppies...watch us grow!
Please adopt. You can save a life.
START II shelter has an influx of wonderful, quirky and supremely adoptable dogs.(See all our dogs.) Sadly, the situation is about to get grim. Many kill shelters are full - and you know what that means. We want to rescue those dogs before their time is up and we need to make room, so if you're considering welcoming a dog into your home, now is the time! Please make an appointment to visit our dogs by calling (201) 797-8861. We can't promise you'll fall in love, but we'd place a large bet on it. What could make your holidays warmer than a cold, wet nose under your tree and the knowledge that you saved a life?
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S.T.A.R.T. II has partnered with ResQthreads! S.T.A.R.T. II receives a donation for every shirt purchased. Visit ResQthreads.