Thank you to the Mount Olive Chronicle for covering our recent lost pet success story.
MOUNT OLIVE TWP. - A couple's move to their new home in Budd Lake nearly turned tragic when their two, pet huskies bolted away and couldn't be found.
Within a few hours, the huskies were located at a home not far away, thanks to the efforts of a volunteer, non-profit, known as NJStrays.
The organization was started in 2012 by Adriana Bradley, a dog behavioralist who with her husband, Nicholas, owns Team Bradley K9 Academy, a boarding and training facility in Wantage. NJStrays and its half dozen volunteers has helped in reunions between hundreds of pet owners and their pets in eight counties in northwest New Jersey, including Morris, Hudson, Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Union,Warren and Sussex counties.
In the Budd Lake situation, the dogs apparently wandered to meet up with dogs at a neighbor's home. The owners were not identified.
"It was a royal play date," said Rachel Moehl of Verona, a spokeswoman for NJStrays. "The dogs were totally fine. They went out to meet their neighbors."
A distraught pet owner can post their missing pets on the NJStrays website. Soon a network of volunteers will begin posting the missing dogs on their Facebook and Instagram pages, while putting up fliers and contacting animal control officers.
"We reunite hundreds of pets in North Jersey every month," Moehl said.
Moehl said the organization's primary goal is to reduce the population in animal shelters and consequently, reduce the number of animals that are euthanized.
Moehl said she became involved last year. She was laid off from her job and found an ad by NJStrays for a volunteer, marketing director. She met with Bradley and was qucikly drawn in.
"I got completely hooked," Moehl said.
She said NJStrays is not a pet rescue organization but is rather focused on reuniting people with their pets. She also said that pets who are kept outside in the summer tend to wander away to find a cool place. Typically, the most calls to NJStrays come on July 5, after pets have run away, frightened by the July 4 fireworks.
The group's biggest success came by reuniting a cat named Hunter with his owner. Hunter had disappeared six months earlier.
The organization also helps to relocate barn cats to rural areas and adoption. Most of the pets are dogs and cats but NJStrays also has reunited rabbits and birds.
The group provides microchipping and limited fostering; spay and neuter clinics and programs; and advocacy and education about the "No-Kill" animal movement.
To date, NJStrays has found 451 pets; microchipped 156; and helped 60 families.
To report a missing pet in North Jersey, click here.