By Dawn M. Chiossi
Adopt, don’t shop! This is the rallying cry of Saving All Paws North Jersey in Kinnelon. Kinnelon’s Saving All Paws organization is dedicated to aiding humans’ furry friends, namely cats and kittens (with some dogs as well.)
Describing the organization as more of a rescue than a shelter, Saving All Paws is the inspiration of founder Michelle Saladnio Famularo, along with Theresa Pardalis and Kristy Ruiz.
“We are a group of really passionate people dedicating their free time to helping animals in need,” asserts Famularo. “We’ve been rescuing on our own for years, (even on the side in their free time) working with various rescues. In 2017 I founded an organization called “Friends of Kinnelon Animals” with the intent to help with the recovery of lost pets, advice/guidance, etc,” she tells. “Around the end of 2018, I asked Theresa and Kristy to join the board and we would re-brand to “Saving All Paws North Jersey, Inc.”
And they did so enthusiastically. All three are unanimous in their philosophy to encourage everyone to adopt when it comes to adding a pet to the household. Their goal is simple: To rescue these companion animals and rehome them so they can be a loving addition to a family.
Their mission is an involved, but utterly fulfilling one: Saving All Paws does everything from rescuing animals from dangerous or neglectful situations, or those in danger of being euthanized, to rescuing found animals, to providing temporary shelter and care (including veterinary), to place adoptable rescued animals in permanent homes, to educate and promote the importance of spaying/neutering companion animals, to educate the public on how to help prevent animal cruelty, to aid and assist pet owners with search and recovery of lost pets, and to trap, neuter, vaccinate and return community cats/kittens.
A tall order? Not for these dedicated volunteers, who are often working on their own time to give each and every animal a chance at a decent life, often trapping ferals at 10:00 or 11:00 at night. “We have always been animal lovers,” Famularo tells, “When my dad asked me what kind of car I wanted, I told him I didn’t want a car, I wanted a horse,” she quips.
For Ruiz, who is very active with TNVR, asserts, “I’m very proud that we share a common goal. We are all able to come together as a team to ensure the welfare of these animals and know that we can make a difference in their lives in some way.”
They are thrilled to be celebrating their first annual Tricky Tray and Beefsteak fundraiser, to be held on February 22nd at the Bloomingdale Firehouse. Entitled “Small Paws, Big Cause: A Night For Second Chances,” all proceeds will go to benefit the animals. Tickets are $60.00 per person and include one ticket sheet for baskets filled with great gifts, food, (even vegan options), beer and soda. Checks are made payable to Saving All Paws North Jersey Inc. Please include the names of each ticket holder. Checks can be mailed to: Saving All Paws North Jersey Inc. PO Box 815 Butler NJ 07405.
With rescue numbers climbing, as well as the number of adoptions, Famularo is constantly inspired by the animals and the people around her. “It’s amazing how much each of us loves what we do. We just try to steer clear of any drama, keep our noses down and do our thing. For me, it makes me feel good to know that I’ve saved so many and rehomed so many pets that would have otherwise not survived.”
“There are so many animals in need and just the feeling of knowing that we are able to change their fate in their current situations and see the transformation is something that keeps us motivated to every day to improve their lives as well as help other people understand the importance of what we do and how they can help make a difference,” Ruiz shares. “I think that every animal that we help is special to all of us. Each animal represents their own story and struggle; while each situation varies, they all hold a special place in all our hearts.”
In just the short time that Saving All Paws been in business, there are a myriad of heartwarming moments that stand out in their minds. One of them was even mentioned recently on New Jersey 12’s Paws and Pals segment. In completing a TNVR of a pregnant feral, the cat gave birth to a litter of kittens right there in Pardalis’ car as she was driving to work!
“That wasn’t the first time we’ve had a TNR give birth in a trap, and it won’t be the last,” Famularo says good-naturedly, considering it just another part of the job she loves. “We’ve been bitten, scratched, peed on, but it’s all good!”
Always searching for that happy ending, Saving All Paws North Jersey is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
For further information or details on Saving All Paws, or their fundraiser, please visit https://savepawsnj.org/ or call (862) 801-5322.