Sammy’s Hope Shelter in Sayreville, New Jersey Needs Volunteers!

Sammy’s Hope Animal Welfare & Adoption Center is a Sayreville, New Jersey non-profit, all-volunteer organization whose mission is to care for homeless animals, socialize them, and provide for their medical needs while finding them loving, forever homes. This private shelter, whose only source of funding is donations and adoption fees, has been operating since February of 2015 in a facility co-located with the Sayrebrook Animal Hospital.

Sammy’s Hope has been able to stay afloat during the Covid pandemic by operating as appointment-only for visiting the animals and for approved adoptions. But it’s back on a mostly regular schedule, open to the public, and once again needs volunteers (who love animals!) to join their volunteer team!

Volunteer requirements are:

  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Have health insurance coverage
  • Can commit to a 2-3 hour shift on the same day and time each week
  • To work with dogs: able to handle and walk dogs weighing 35+ pounds, and work in a kennel environment
  • To work with cats: comfortavble with cats and kittens, and can work a midday “socialization” and play shift

If you’re interested, and they hope you are, please visit


What IS the Canine Condition?

“The Canine Condition” is a DOGumentary series and Podcast addressing what is being done to end the neglect, abuse and abandonment of dogs in the United States today, hosted and produced by actor and animal rescue advocate Jacqueline Piñol, and her husband, singer and actor Jonny Blu.

The DOGumentary is the product of several years work by Jacquie and Jonny, whose travels across the United States took them to Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey and New York. This series focuses on who is taking action around the country to improve the canine condition and how to prevent further overpopulation and neglect of man’s best friend.  Go here to see the beautiful dogs that were rescued, and see the movie trailer here!

The Podcast comes weekly every Monday, bringing awareness about all the issues associated with dog adoption, and providing all dog lovers and pet owners with information and resources on how to raise a healthy and well-balanced dog. If you’re thinking about getting your first dog, or just want to know where and how you can help a dog in need, this is also a place for you! Each podcast features a special guest, interviewed by Jacquie.

If you care about homeless animals, and want to learn more and how you can help alleviate this terrible problem, THE CANINE CONDITION is for you!

Unsung Heroes at St. Frances Animal Center in Georgetown, South Carolina!

A friend of mine, and the most dedicated animal advocate I’ve ever known, runs this wonderful animal shelter in South Carolina, so I want to give the place a plug!

Saint Frances Animal Center (SFAC) is Georgetown County, SC’s only open-admission animal shelter. Taking in 1,500 homeless cats and dogs each year, they focus on making sure every animal who has been lost, abandoned, abused, or neglected has a happy ending to their story. Saint Frances Animal Center cares for, treats, and rehabilitates every animal that comes there, to help ensure they go on to find loving homes.
In addition, SFAC runs a low-cost veterinary clinic that provides full-service, affordable veterinary care and spay/neuter surgeries for families. They believe the love and joy that pets bring to our lives should not be limited by a family’s income. Before adopting them out, SFAC ensures that all pets are neutered, vaccinated, and healthy, regardless of a family’s financial challenges.
I hope you’ll keep this shelter in mind, and help them out whenever you can! HERE’S THE LINK TO DONATE!

AHS Newark Shelter in Battle with City of Newark…still

The Associated Humane Societies-Newark Shelter, which has a number of municipal animal control contracts including one with the the city of Newark, is in an extended battle with the city over alleged non-payment of monthly fees. Keep in mind that AHS Newark has been cited over and over again for filthy and unsanitary conditions and even illegal and abusive practices.

I don’t know which side is right–I tend to believe the city given the abysmal and even horrific history of the shelter–but this is yet another example of how the shelter system in New Jersey is broken and needs a complete overhaul.  While Newark and the shelter battle it out, the animals suffer

Lawyer Dante Di Pirro Steps Up to Save Animals Killed in Hamilton Shelter

New Jersey attorney Dante Di Pirro, who has a long record representing the interests of homeless and abused animals and opposing animal shelter operators who flout the law, has put the Hamilton NJ Municipal Shelter on notice. He’s sent them a litter promising a class-action lawsuit unless they stop euthanizing–killing–owner surrendered animals before the mandatory hold period, during which the animals must be offered for adoption.

Di Pirro notes that statements made at the recent Hamilton Township council meeting by Shelter representatives show that “they are aware of the law, refuse to follow the express and unambiguous language of the statute, and fail to comply with their non-discretionary, mandatory duty to offer each such animal for adoption for at least seven days.”

Good on you Dante!

His letter to the Mayor and Council can be found HERE.

Sayreville Shelter Tees Up Charity Golf Outing for May 2!

After more than three years offering adoptions of homeless animals seven days a week, Sammy’s Hope is holding its annual Charity Golf Outing on Wednesday, May 2 at the Royce Brook Golf Club, 201 Hamilton Road in Hillsborough, New Jersey. The day will begin with breakfast and registration at 8:00 am, tee off at 9:00 am, followed by cocktails, lunch, raffle, and awards.

To register or sponsor, please visit and see more at our Facebook page. Early registration discounts are available through March 24, 2018. Donations and participation will help save the lives of countless cats and dogs that we care for at our shelter.

This golf outing is very important for funding the medical care, socialization, and enrichment that Sammy’s Hope gives these wonderful animals on their way to loving, forever homes. And it gives us a chance to see our many friends and supporters!

The Sammy’s Hope Animal Welfare & Adoption Center is located at 1400 Main Street, Sayreville, NJ, (GPS 989 Main Street) adjacent to the Sayrebrook Veterinary Hospital, and open for adoptions seven days a week.

AHS Newark Shelter Gets Grim Report While Animals Suffer

On Aug. 22, spurred by a complaint, four Newark and New Jersey Department of Health officials performed a joint inspection of the AHS Newark facility. While touring the building, the inspectors allegedly witnessed all manner of violations.

This is tragic and disturbing on so many levels, especially given the fact that AHS Newark is reportedly sitting on several million dollars that could be used to completely rehab the facility and hire more staff.

It should be noted, though, the the AHS Volunteers do an amazing job under terrible conditions and they advocate for those animals as well as humanly possible.  They are a wonderful group of caring, loving, giving people.

The shelter system is BROKEN and it’s an indictment of our society as a whole that we allow this to continue.



NJ Could Use HSUS’s Humane State Program!

HSUS has, by all accounts, a very thoughtful and effective communications program, Humane Statethat trains law enforcement, including prosecutors, judges, officers, and others, along with the shelter/rescue community to combat animal crimes and strengthen the shelters.  It’s really a road show that they’ve taken to several states and Puerto Rico.

Seems to me that New Jersey badly needs this kind of program.

Frustratingly, HSUS has no contact information for this program or for general requests, but its phone numbers are:

202-452-1100, or 866-720-2676, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m ET

Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET


Joy, from a Tragedy

A tragic event led to this story:  On May 10, Mia, a 13 year old girl from Cranbury, New Jersey was walking her dog and was hit by a car, and the driver callously and illegally fled the scene.  The girl was seriously injured and her dog was killed instantly.  According to The Woodbridge Patch, witnesses said that the pup, named Panda, absorbed most of the impact from the car, and likely saved Mia’s life.

But on July 3rd, members of the Cranbury Fraternal Order of Police presented Mia and her family with a puppy, much to their joy!  You can see it here in the Patch.

I hope the dog was adopted from a local shelter.  Virtually everywhere in New Jersey, shelter animals are the most at risk on account of overcrowded conditions, and are deserving of loving, forever homes.

ADOPT, don’t shop!  And spay and neuter your houshold pets!  It’s the only was we’re going to end the endless slaughter of innocent animals.

Hello New Jersey Animal Lovers

This blog is for all New Jerseyites who care about, and care for, animals. It is dedicated to the many wonderful “animal people” I have met over the last five years – Niki Dawson, Elda Hubbard and all my colleagues at Sammy’s Hope, Kristen Padden, Heather Campione, Kathleen Schatzmann, everyone at Best Friends Animal Society and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, The ASPCA Fearful Dog program, Michelle Merletto Cilurso, Tracy Rolph, and dozens of others.

I am not allowing comments because that will lend itself to invective and vitriol which will not help homeless and innocent animals.  I will post news items and on occasion, opinion, that I believe will contribute to improving the welfare of homeless animals.  It will also shine a light on issues and organizations — such as NJSPCA — that need to be examined.

There is no shortage of people in NJ who care about animals.  I meet them every day.  But the laws are too weak, the shelter system is mostly broken, and euthanasia is far too often the fate of innocent animals whose only crime was being brought into this world.

If you care, then DO something: volunteer, donate, foster, attend a fundraiser, but most of all: spay or neuter your  pets and ADOPT from your local shelter.