WAYNE, NJ – This is the seventh year in a row that Wayne resident Candace Margiotta-Ross has come with a truck load of donated supplies for the Alan Purcell Wayne Animal Shelter (WAS); just in time for the holidays.  “It’s so needed and it’s such a wonderful thing,” said Sally Herman the Manager of the WAS.

“This is the best town for an animal shelter; the township is just great,” said Herman. “They never say no. They’re just so good that way, and they don’t have a clock running on how long the animals have been here.”

“But there are gaps,” Herman quickly added. “Especially at the end of the year when the budget runs out and things get a little short. Then Candace shows up with so many needed supplies and it just helps us get through the end of the year.”

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Each year Margiotta-Ross posts an event on her Facebook Page asking for blankets, towels, comforters, cleaning supplies, dog and cat food, treats and toys. “You know, people can donate to the animal shelter whenever they want, but once you create something like this and give people the extra push to donate, you get more.  Most people aren’t sitting around saying let me donate my extra towel, my extra blanket, but when you ask them for it, then they realize they have a lot of extra stuff laying around and bring it over.”

“It’s pretty much the same people donating year after year,” said Margiotta-Ross, “but our list grows a bit each time.”

The WAS provides animal control and animal shelter services for four towns: Wayne, Woodland Park, Cedar Grove and Verona. “Every time there’s a stray, a surrender or a hoarding case, we take the animal or animals, we vet them, and we always give every animal a chance to be adopted,” said Herman.

Adoption is the ultimate goal for all of the animals at the shelter.

“When one of our animals gets adopted, then it’s a small sigh of relief for us and a sense of joy; we’ve done our job for that animal.” 

But for the staff at the WAS, there is never a break.  This year, they took in animals from three different hoarding cases.  One of which added twenty-three cats and kittens to the shelter in one day.  Shelter space, food, cleaning supplies can run short and a delivery like what Margiotta-Ross brings helps to fill-in the gaps and leave some budget in case of emergencies.

For Margiotta-Ross, she’s seen the giving culture of the Wayne community and saw how many people are helped by so many organizations, so she wanted to do something specific for the animals. “I’ve always loved animals,” she said, “and I’ve always felt sorry for animals who’ve been abandoned.”

“It’s a sad life being in there,” said Margiotta-Ross talking about the animals in the shelter. “When you hear all those dogs barking; just imagine you were in a cage and you hear that barking constantly, constantly, it can be so stressful. So, if they have a toy, some comfortable blankets, anything that will help comfort them in there, it makes me feel a little better.”

“When Candace showed up the first year, it was an amazing surprise and so welcomed,” said Herman. “The next year she was back again, and it’s been going on each year so that we have almost become dependent on what she brings.”

This year’s delivery went beyond food, treats and toys. It included carriers, and over twenty dog sweaters as well as prescription dog foods that are much more expensive but helpful for older and sick dogs.

For the animals in the shelter, any amount of love given is a boost for their morale and Margiotta-Ross brings a truckload of love for these abandoned animals looking for a forever home.

The WAS Foster Program

The shelter has a foster program that needs help.  A foster volunteer can take one or multiple animals home to live with the volunteer, but the town is still responsible for the cost of caring for the animal(s). One visit to the animal shelter and it is difficult to leave without wanting to help.  “Imagine living in a cage surrounded by twenty barking dogs and mewling cats,” said Herman. “It’s very stressful on the animals and can affect their mental health.”   Foster volunteers can help remove animals from this situation and give them a home, while we look for a permanent home for them.”

To learn more on how to be a foster volunteer or to adopt an animal call the Wayne Healthg Department who runs the animal shelter: 973-694-0767