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Over the past four months, three local animal rescues have been working together to rescue 16 dogs from a retiring breeder in Blairstown. Over the last week, the breeder released the remaining nine dogs, marking the end of a "decade of breeding horrors."

A group of rescuers from the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, Inc. (RBARI), Second Chance Pet Adoption League, and A Pathway to Hope have been steadfastly working to take in the "designer" dogs. The rescuers were not permitted inside of the barn that the dogs called home, but as each one emerged, they were "trembling and terrified," according to RBARI.

The Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge and Jersey Pits Rescue are trying to save three tiny puppies found cold, sickly, and malnourished outside of the Paterson shelter on Thursday.

The three puppies, which appear to be some sort of micro breed of Boston terrier, are about eight weeks old and are all male, according to a post on the RBARI Facebook page. They are all severely underweight and frightened.

Paterson Animal Control and a handful of involved shelters and rescue groups have made significant progress in a mass cat rescue at a home in Paterson where 120 cats and kittens were found on Feb. 15.

This mass rescue comes after the elderly woman who lives in the three-floor home called with what Paterson's Chief Animal Control Officer John DeCando described as a cry for help. Since then, around 80 cats and kittens have been removed from the home.

As of early Monday morning, there were 30 to 40 cats left, DeCando said.

Donna Moussa of Homeless Tails and Samantha Agosta of FOWA Rescue went into the house and retrieved 10 more cats at around 10 a.m. on Monday morning. Two volunteers from the West Milford Animal Shelter waited outside the home. They took five of the 10 cats to their shelter.

All of the cats that have been successfully removed have been taken in by Homeless Tails, Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, FOWA Rescue and other local shelters, where they are receiving any necessary medical treatment and will be put up for adoption.

Meanwhile, one of the pet rescuers helping to take on these cats is the Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge in Oakland. The facility has 15 of those 180 cats. They are being spayed and neutered, treated for chronic infection and microchipped.

The cats were covered in fleas and mites and many had serious eye infections that required the surgical removal of eyes.

Megan Duemmer, with Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge, said that one kitten named Pineapple’s eye has “already been removed. When we spayed her we took that eye out and she’s a lot more comfortable now.”

Paterson Animal Control, Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge and a handful of other rescues and shelters are working together on a mass rescue after 120 cats and kittens were found in a home in Paterson.

Just days after becoming the first person with pulmonary fibrosis to make it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Adam Faatz was working as an endangered species specialist when he came across an animal in need.

Faatz, a Hawthorne native now living in Highland Lakes, and his team were approached last month by Sawyer, a 2-year-old cat, while documenting raptor nests in Harriman State Park in New York. Temperatures had plunged below 20 degrees, and Sawyer was thin, weak and nearly frozen.

"He just lay there and was super easy to scoop up," said Faatz, a military veteran. "Sawyer immediately started purring and meowing. Mostly his cuteness got me, made me want to help. I couldn't morally leave him to die and become eagle food."

Photos of Sawyer, a two-year-old cat that was rescued from Harriman State Park in New York.
Faatz made the 3-mile hike back to his car with Sawyer wrapped in his jacket. He then took the cat to Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge in Oakland, where it was determined that Sawyer was positive for feline immunodeficiency virus and suffering from the effects of malnutrition.

Jersey Pits Rescue and the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge are in need of donations for an urgent case named Ophelia who was found emaciated at only 36 pounds in the freezing cold temperatures, with her puppies nowhere to be found.

Ophelia, a pit bull terrier believed to be 3 or 4 years old, was rescued from Summer Street in Paterson by Animal Control this month after a neighbor reported her condition. She is under the care of the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge and the Jersey Pits Rescue.

News 12 New Jersey featured a special edition of Paws & Pals Monday in celebration of National Kitten Day. Three kittens are now available for adoption at Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge. For more information, visit

A monthlong journey of rehabilitation and perseverance started when one good Samaritan stumbled upon a dilapidated female dog in the Westside Park section of Paterson.

Maggie was a skeleton of a body covered with fleas and pressure sores. Her feet showed signs of being confined in a crate and her solid white nails indicated being soaked in urine.

Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge rescuers brought her to Country Willow Veterinary Hospital in Warwick, New York, on June 13 to recuperate and diagnose her condition. They determined she was a breeding dog who was neglected and discarded by the breeders, the whereabouts of her puppies unknown.

Since then, Ramapo-Bergen partnered with Best Friend Dog and Animal Adoption in rescuing Maggie and eventually finding her a family.

Paws & Pals: $5,000 reward being offered for tips on abandoned dog found in Paterson
Jun 27, 2023, 11:38amUpdated 9h ago
By: News 12 Staff


It's not Friday, but News 12 New Jersey gave an extra dose of Paws & Pals Tuesday. Best Friend Dog and Animal Adoption partnered with Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge, Inc. to save Maggie who is looking for a foster home.
They are also looking for Maggie’s original owner. Maggie was found in the Westside Park section of Paterson. Paterson police are investigating, and a $5,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to the arrest of Maggie’s former owner.

Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge
2 Shelter Lane
Oakland, NJ 07436

Tax ID (EIN): 22-6094179


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