SAVE Animal Shelter is finding homes fast

Samoa is available for adoption at SAVE Animal Shelter
Samoa is available for adoption at SAVE Animal Shelter

Out Pets

SAVE, a Friend to Homeless Animals shelter facility in Skillman, New Jersey, has been finding that within a COVID-19 pandemic, animals are being adopted much faster than animals can be saved.

“It’s an interesting problem,” Executive Director Heather Achenbach said. “You don’t save lives with empty cages.” It appears local shelters in the SAVE network are experiencing similar issues. More people are adopting animals. “It’s a different kind of pain,” Achenbach said.

The shelter, of course, wants to see families adopting and keeping their pets. However, the shelter also wants to save the lives of animals. Achenbach reassures that this is a temporary problem. As the warmer seasons approach, more puppies and kittens, adult dogs, and cats will make their way to the shelters.

In the record pet adoption papers that are coming in, SAVE Director of Operations Jill Van Tuyl says more first-time pet owners are applying for pets. This takes on a plethora of new discussions SAVE must have with applicants. From how to socialize animals to training them, most people have to put a lot of work into the needs of their new, and perhaps, first-time pets.

SAVE has been efficient in other areas like fundraising, better grappling with the adaptation that comes with change. One positive change is that more folks have been adopting house cats. Once a problem for the shelter has now become a breeze as fosters discuss the incredible experiences their families have been having with their cat fosters.

As the shelter continues to adapt in this time, they remember their history. Just in time for Women’s History Month, Cornelia Jaynes, the third female graduate in 1927 from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine founded the Small Animal Veterinary Endowment in 1941. SAVE would eventually merge with the Friends of Homeless Animals in 2006, headquartering their operations in Skillman.

Samoa is available for adoption at SAVE Animal Shelter
Samoa is available for adoption at SAVE Animal Shelter

Samoa is as sweet as the Girl Scout cookies! She is estimated to be 2-years-old and recently came to SAVE all the way from Tennessee. We cannot be sure of her breed mix, but she reminds us of a lamb with her thick, curly fur. Perhaps she is Husky/Shepherd with a dash of Great Pyrenees? Samoa loves the snow here in the Garden State. She is good with other dogs and loves spending time with people. No kitties though—they’re too fun to chase!


Muffin is available for adoption at SAVE Animal Shelter
Muffin is available for adoption at SAVE Animal Shelter

Muffin is a queen with a commanding presence. She was found outdoors, but it is clear Muffin was meant to be an indoor companion kitty. She is very engaged in human connection and will instantly ‘meow’ her greeting and run to meet you. Her purr of contentment is loud! Snoozing on your chest where she can be close to your heart is one of her favorite spots. When she’s not in a lap, she prefers to be perched up high. All Muffin requires is a lap, a tall kitty tree, and a home to truly be happy. Give this sweet 12-year-old girl a chance. She has a lifetime of love to give!

Lana Leonard
Lana Leonard (they/them) is a graduate from The College of New Jersey with a degree in journalism and professional writing. They work at the GLAAD Media institute and freelance for publications like LGBTQ Nation while working on their journalistic theory of change project: Late Nights with Lana, a talk show based out of 10PRL film studios in Long Branch, NJ. Lana's mission, in all their work, is to focus on people, their collective truths and how those truths form a community of knowledge towards change.