Personal Account: Helping a stray and finding an animal shelter
For the past two nights, my family has been fostering a cat that came to our back door meowing a storm, hungry, and cold in the winter night. At first we thought it was feral, so we fed it, assuming it would leave when it got its full. But it soon became apparent that she was still pretty young and needed shelter, so she joined us indoors. This kind of thing really catches you off guard, and I realized how truly ignorant I was about nearby shelters and how to go about helping this cat find its original home (if it had one), or a new permanent home.
Luckily, we already have cats and had the food and necessary supplies to give it temporary haven. First thing we did was take photographs, posting them on Facebook to see if someone was missing this lovely cat. We also called the local non-emergency police number to see if there had been any recent reports of missing felines, with no luck. There had been a few possible leads on Facebook, but nothing came of them, so the next logical step was to contact the animal shelters. Thanks to guidance from friends and helpful community members on Facebook, I sent emails to some shelters with pictures for them to get word out, and with the magic of social media, awareness has been raised about the missing cat. I also filed a found report at one shelter so they could cross check their lost cat reports for matches. No luck yet.
Here’s where it gets tricky. The animal shelter I wanted to originally take the cat to informed me that I could not take it there, because it was a municipal shelter and could not service people from other municipalities. There is another one nearby, but it’s these little things that are important to know, so as not to waste your time. It’s important to get educated either through the internet or calling the shelters for information. Don’t just go to any old shelter without calling them first.
No one’s come forward yet, so I will be taking the cat to the shelter that gives me a thumbs up. I did what I could, but here I am with this little one following me around the house like I’m its owner, and we’re not equipped to keep it, since we’re already the owners of two cats. Now I’m getting attached and if I was better prepared for this kind of thing and acted a bit faster, I may not be in this predicament.
Here are some no-kill animal shelters in or around Hudson County which you could turn to if found in this situation:
-Hoboken contracts with AHS for animal control services, so all strays or injured wildlife are taken to
to their shelter in Newark.
-Provide animal control services for Bergen County.
-Their animal shelter Bergen County Protect and Rescue is located in Cliffside Park, NJ.
~Secaucus Animal Shelter
~Mount Pleasant Animal Shelter in East Hanover
~Pound Animal Welfare Society of Montclair Inc.