BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Even an unexpected snowstorm could not stop a 1-year-old shelter dog named Travis from finding a permanent family of his own and becoming Home for Good Dog Rescue’s milestone 5,000th adoption on Jan. 7.
That Saturday, the New Jersey-based nonprofit organization hosted its first adoption event of 2017 and welcomed the public to its facility in Berkeley Heights to meet its rescue dogs. And despite the winter weather brewing just outside, visitors continued to arrive throughout the day, all in hopes of finding the perfect four-legged companions to complete their families.
“We cannot fathom just how far we have come,” Richard Errico, Home for Good’s co-founder and treasurer, said. “This rescue quite literally started out of somebody’s home, and to stand here today and watch our 5,000th dog go home is truly a humbling experience.”
Among the day’s visitors on Jan. 7 was the Lenahan family of Berkeley Heights, who, amid enthusiastic cheers from Home for Good’s staff, volunteers, and foster families, completed an official adoption agreement to take home lucky dog number 5,000 himself.
“I still remember our 1,000th adoption like it was yesterday,” Foster Coordinator Susan Strell said. “Travis is joining not only his forever family, but becoming an all-important part of our history.”
Travis, an Australian Cattle Dog mix, originally came from a high-kill shelter in Barnwell, South Carolina after facing abandonment and life as a stray. After coming into the care of Home for Good Dog Rescue, he arrived in New Jersey via an overnight van transport and entered a volunteer foster home.
“He had the nice demeanor and the write-up, the nice picture and nice friendly looking face,” adopter Thomas Lenahan remarked. “And the right size for our family.”
Travis’s adoption would mark the Lenahans’ first family experience as dog owners. And after completing an online application for adoption before arriving on Jan. 7, they were eager to take their new family member home that day.
“Our application was processed real quickly, so we saw a dog we liked, put in an application, and were able to come down and meet him before he went with somebody else,” Thomas's wife, Linda Lenahan, explained. And despite the snow still falling down outside, Travis joined eleven other successfully adopted dogs that day.
“I’m excited to have Travis. He’s going to be a good family dog for everyone,” James Lenahan,16, said,.
Since its inception in 2010, the 100-percent foster-based Home for Good Dog Rescue has transported dogs from high-kill shelters throughout South Carolina and Georgia to New Jersey in search of their forever homes. Upon arriving in the Northeast, each dog enters a local volunteer foster home, where they live until adoption and receive all the benefits of family life a kennel setting cannot provide.
It has been only one year since the organization celebrated its milestone 4,000th adoption in 2015.
“We’re so excited for our future at Home for Good, and we cannot thank our volunteers, fosters, friends, and neighbors enough for being a part of our rescue mission,” Errico said. "We can only move forward from here."
Home for Good continues to look forward to the construction of the Almost Home Wellness Center in Aiken, SC. This specialized facility will allow the organization to rescue even more dogs by providing a safe place for animals too young or too sick to travel to recuperate prior to traveling northward.
For more information on Home for Good Dog Rescue and its ongoing capital campaign for Almost Home, please visit www.HomeforGoodDogs.org