LIVINGSTON, NJ – Nearly $14,500 was raised for the Livingston Animal Shelter and 10 pets were adopted at the second annual Friends of the Livingston Animal Shelter Pet Expo, held at The Shoppes at the Livingston Circle on May 7.

Lending support to the family-and pet-friendly event were Healthy Community Healthy Youth Initiative of Livingston (HCHY), the parent organization of Friends of the Livingston Animal Shelter; Livingston PBA Local 263; West Essex Tribune; Livingston UNICO; and Eastman Companies, the shopping center’s manager and developer.

Livingston Mayor Al Anthony, liaison to the Friends of the Livingston Animal Shelter and avowed animal lover, said that the Pet Expo was a prime example of what makes Livingston a great town: the volunteers.

Sign Up for E-News

“As a charter member of our animal shelter committee, I've seen the labor and donations that have helped improve our shelter,” said Anthony. “As liaison to the Council, I've brought the message that our residents would like to keep our town's shelter rather than close it and pay another town for use of their shelter.”

The theme for the afternoon event was “ADOPT–EDUCATE–RESCUE,” with the intention of allowing those in attendance the opportunity to adopt cats and dogs from participating shelters and rescue groups; enter their four-legged friends in a “Cutest Pet” photo contest for the opportunity to win a $100 shopping spree at Choice Pet Supply; and enjoy live entertainment by “The Untitled,” a rock band featuring local middle school students.

In addition to 50/50 raffles, a silent auction and a bake sale, area restaurants—including Ike’s Bagel Café and Olive Garden among others—donated food for purchase to help raise funds.

“Because of this great volunteer work, I've been in touch with Mayors of other towns who are interested in sheltering their animals in our shelter instead of the other way around,” said Anthony, who was excited about the prospect. “As someone who has always cared a lot about animals, and the son of a career pet store owner, this has been an easy cause for me to get behind.”

Participating shelters and rescue groups included Animal Protection League, Brendan’s Meadow Rescue, Cans for Cats, Cause 4 Paws, Choice Pet Supply, Eleventh Hour Rescue, ESP Pets, Greyhound Friends of NJ, Livingston Animal Hospital, Livingston Animal Shelter, Mind of Dog, Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter, Newark Associated Humane Society, NJ Division of Fire Safety Arson/K-9 Unit, Paws Claws & Feathers, Paws in Place, Project TNR, Purfect Pals, Seeing Eye Puppy Club of Essex County, SHOW and West Orange Animal Hospital. Local community groups also were on hand to provide education and raise awareness.

All photos were taken by Danielle Santola.