Rudy and Pelahatchie came toWag On Inn Rescuefrom Mississippi where they both spent their entire lives in outdoor kennels. Shy 5-year-old Pelahatchie, a chocolate lab mix, andRudy, a 9-year-old German Shephard, both required extensive veterinary care.
A grant from PAW helped cover Rudy and Pelahatchie's medical costs, aiding the all-volunteer, foster-based rescue that's spread through Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
On St. Patrick's day, a family with a fenced-in yard adopted the sweet, shy Pelahatchie -- now healthy and living comfortably with her new Chow Chow sister.
It's a huge, huge help," says Wag On Inn volunteer Kristi Ellsworth of Asbury Park. "We obviously charge adoption fees when we place dogs, but it doesn't even come close to covering the expenses that we incur.
Meanwhile, the timid Rudyis learning how to trust humans with his foster mom, Taylor. "He's making great progress," says Kristi. "He’s learning to walk on leash and enjoys sleeping on the couch."
Last year, Wag On Inn and its 100 active volunteers found homes for 550 dogs, 77 cats and some bunnies and guinea pigs too! To learn more about the rescue and their available pets, visit their website: wagoninn.rescuegroups.org, Facebookand Instagram @wagoninnrescue.
Meet Dani Dreifach Chair, PAW Junior Advisory Board Volunteer, Social Media Manager
Last year, when her 20-year-old cat Rayna passed away, a grieving Dani Dreifach found that going to the Montclair Animal Shelter and interacting with the cats lifted her spirits.
"I stumbled upon the shelter at a time I needed something to hold onto," says Dani, 17, a senior at Montclair High School heading to NYU in the fall. "And helping the animals feels really good."
Dani jumped into volunteering, primarily tending to the cats and leading the shelter's Paws to Read program, where young children come into the shelter and read to the animals. "Kids learning to read can benefit from reading aloud," says Dani, "and it helps to socialize the cats."
"A lot of people say it's sad to work in a shelter," she says, "but it's nice to care for them and awesome to watch them get adopted."
In 2022, Dani, along with Karen Sacks, Founder of PAW and chair of the Friends of the Montclair Township Animal Shelter (FOMTAS), cofounded the school club "FOMTAS at Montclair High School," which supports the shelter and promotes animal welfare.
It was in her childhood when Dani first fell in love with a cat, after her family adopted a black long-haired kitty -- Rayna -- abandoned during Hurricane Sandy. Rayna was the center of the family's attention until two rescue dogs later joined their pack.
This past summer, while volunteering at the shelter, "a cat named Rosa was kind of a mean cat," says Dani. "I built a relationship with this cat, we took her home to foster and we ended up adopting her."
Always eager to help animals in need, Dani launched and manages PAW's social media pages. She is also serving as Chair of PAW's newly formed junior advisory board to help promote animal welfare to a new generation of animal lovers. She is excited to continue in both roles remotely while living in New York City and attending NYU.
"Dani is simply amazing," says Sacks. "We couldn't be more grateful for her hard work and her passion for animals. She gives me so much hope for the future of animal welfare."
Last fall, the then 8-month-old kitten was hit by a car that shattered his pelvis and legs. Luckily a Good Samaritan took him to an emergency hospital, which asked Trish Malone, the vice president of the the Clifton-based Angels of Animals, to take him in.
Trish quickly brought Sparrow to Animal Emergency and Referral Associates in West Caldwell, where Dr. Brian Brophy performed intensive pelvic reconstruction to repair his wounds.
While recovering at Trish's home, Sparrow began having seizures, which led Dr. Brophy to discover that Sparrow had a liver shunt -- a large blood vessel on the outside of his liver -- "that is a fatal condition if left uncorrected," says Trish.
A grant from PAW helped cover the cost of Sparow's surgeries: the first needed to repair his broken pelvis and the second to repair the shunt, a congenital condition.
Both surgeries were successful. "The post-op diagnostics were perfect - his liver is functioning normally," says Trish, who is "thrilled" to have received the grant.
Sparrow is recovering wonderfully and gained three much-needed pounds since the liver shunt surgery, bringing him to 9 pounds.
"We are so happy with his progress," says Trish. "He’s very happy, and he and his best friend Dove (another foster cat) have been playing like kittens together. It’s nice to see him feeling so well!"