New Jersey is home to many reputable animal rescues that save the lives of local dogs and cats. There are lots of local animals in need, and these rescues make it their mission to make a difference in their lives. It’s always better to adopt rather than shop — so with that in mind, we’ve rounded up a list of some local North Jersey animal rescues that we love to take the stress out of searching for where to adopt a pet locally. Read on to discover some of our favorite dog and cat rescues in North Jersey that will help you find the perfect furry friend.
**Please note: There are more rescues, but these are some of our favorites. Feel free to send us a note at hello@themontclairgirl with other rescues you love and have found to be reputable.**
Brick City Rescue Inc. | North Jersey
Brick City Rescue Inc. is a foster-based dog rescue located in Northern New Jersey. To meet its pets, you must make an appointment. Brick City is dedicated to finding loving, stable homes for all adoptable, homeless dogs in NJ with a focus on bully breeds. The organization encourages compassionate and responsible behavior and supplies training, food, shelter, and medical care for all of its animals. Brick City works hard to be a community resource, disseminating valuable information to the public by promoting responsible pet ownership and providing education regarding breed discrimination.
The majority of the dogs Brick City rescues are from inner-city, high-kill shelters in our area. The organization also takes in strays and the owner surrenders. Brick City says, “We won’t stop until we save them all,” and we love the mission.
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Chance at Life Cat Rescue | River Edge
Chance at Life Cat Rescue is a foster-based cat rescue in Northern NJ. This animal rescue is dedicated to rescuing, caring for, and placing homeless cats in the hands of caring people. It is founded on the principles of education and practices of kindness and respect for all animal life. It also promotes the importance of spaying and neutering in order to slow the nationwide trend of needless euthanasia. The cats are rescued mostly from Bergen County (Dumont, Bergenfield, Teaneck, Closter, etc.), but are also rescued from the Paterson Shelter and other local, municipal shelters. One of the rescue’s pillar quotes is, “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.―A.A. Milne.”
CLAWS | 63 N Washington Avenue, Bergenfield
CLAWS is committed to helping animals within the Northern NJ area. Its goal is to encourage and foster humane attitudes and behavior toward animals. CLAWS serves as a resource to the community and they work hard to place unwanted or abandoned pets in loving, permanent homes. The organization puts a strong emphasis on educating and encouraging the public to spay and neuter their pets in order to alleviate pet overpopulation. The animals rescued come from local shelters such as the Teterboro Animal Shelter and Bergen Protect and Rescue.
Home for Good Dog Rescue Inc | 465 Springfield Avenue, Berkeley Heights
Home for Good is a 100% foster-based dog rescue in New Jersey with an office in Berkeley Heights. Over its 11 years of service, the team has saved over 10,000 dogs. It specializes in saving dogs from high-kill shelters down south (particularly in Georgia) where fosters then care for and socialize the pups (or the dogs receive life-saving medical treatment, if needed). The organization is known for having a host of sweet dogs — and one of our MG editors got her beloved dog from this rescue.
JerseyCats | Hudson County
JerseyCats is a volunteer-run, foster-based rescue dedicated to improving the lives of homeless cats and kittens through rescue and adoption. JerseyCats strives to find homes for friendly, adoptable cats in need. The organization rescues homeless cats and kittens from unsafe or undesirable situations, predominantly in Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City, and Weehawken. The organization is a strong advocate for spaying and neutering and also encourages people to keep their pets indoors so they are safe in this urban environment. JerseyCats wants to spread the message of commitment and love for all animals.
Liberty Humane Society | 235 Jersey City Boulevard, Jersey City
Liberty Humane Society’s mission is to foster a community of compassion and respect and provide animals in need with a chance at a lifelong, loving home. LHS cared for, treats, and finds homes for thousands of animals every year. Through its low-cost public Wellness Clinic, Humane Education program, and surrender prevention services, the goal is to reduce the number of animals who enter the shelter and provide a higher quality of care for those who stay in their homes.
LHS wants to empower our community to take ownership of the way animals are treated, both in and out of the shelter system, by giving them the tools they need to make positive choices and provide independent care. All animals receive a medical assessment and vaccinations upon intake. New Jersey requires stray animals to be held for seven days before they are made available for adoption. After a behavioral assessment, adoptable dogs and cats move into main shelter housing where they will stay until adopted or transferred. All animals are spayed or neutered and microchipped prior to adoption.
Rescue Haven Foundation | Caldwell
Rescue Haven Foundation is a foster-based, dog rescue out of Caldwell, NJ. The mission of Rescue Haven Foundation is to save dogs and give them a chance at a new life. The organization does this by providing foster homes that will nurture a dog’s physical and emotional health. While the dogs are in the foster homes, the dedicated volunteers help locate ideal forever homes and provide fosters and adopters with support and training.
This training and support help ensure that adopters have positive adoption experiences and, most importantly, that the dogs stay in their new homes permanently. All of the animals come from local shelters including Paterson, Newark, and NYCACC. The organization also takes in strays and the owner surrenders. The foster program was designed by dog trainers and behaviorists to ensure that they have resources, training, and behavior help available. Rescue Haven believes in “quality over quantity” and keeps the foster program small and manageable so the dogs can receive everything they need while they wait for the forever homes. Rescue Haven takes dogs of all breeds and sizes and welcomes medical cases, seniors, and special needs dogs. The rescue is partnered with the Verona Animal Hospital to ensure that the dogs have access to high-quality, modern veterinary care. Rescue Haven says it prides itself on its match-making skills and they work hard to make sure every dog and every adopter are compatible.
Second Chance Pet Adoption | Oak Ridge
Second Chance Pet Adoption League is a foster-based dog rescue made up of a few dedicated people who work hard to find homes for deserving dogs. The rescues come mostly from local shelters/pounds that may be forced to euthanize adoptable dogs due to lack of space. The organization also rescues dogs from puppy mills where they live in cages, neglected until they are no longer useful. Second Chance Pet Adoption League also accepts owner-surrendered dogs on a limited basis depending on space.
The rescue puts a strong focus on saving seniors, shy dogs, dogs with special medical needs, and others who benefit from the extra care they receive in a foster environment. Second Chance Pet Adoption League says, “Seniors make the best friends! Though they may need some extra medical care to keep them happy and healthy, it’s very rewarding to open your home to an older dog in their golden years.” The organization also believes it’s very rewarding to work with the shyest dogs who come from neglect, hoarding cases, or puppy mills that have never known human kindness — to see them learn, grow, and form a special bond once they trust you.
Wise Animal Rescue | North Jersey
Wise Animal Rescue is based in Northern New Jersey but has fosters and volunteers throughout the Tri-State area that supports its mission and cause. The organization believes that without these amazing people, the rescue could not operate as it is entirely run by volunteers and fosters.
W.A.R. is dedicated to rescuing dogs of all ages and breeds from places where they are no longer wanted or are not being properly cared for. By partnering with veterinary practices that support its work, they are able to save dogs’ lives and restore them back to health. Central to the mission is to ensure that all dogs are spayed/neutered, up-to-date on shots, and microchipped. Prior to adoption, all of the dogs are placed into responsible, loving foster homes to be socialized and trained rather than put in a shelter environment.
The majority of the dogs rescued by W.A.R. come directly from New Jersey. The organization occasionally rescues dogs from Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania but is dedicated to saving those who need them within our community as there are so many. The dogs are transferred out of local, municipal shelters, are surrendered by their owners, or are found as strays.
Wizard of Paws | North Jersey
Wizard of Paws is a foster-based cat and dog rescue founded in Hoboken that is run by fosters and volunteers all over the state. The organization is dedicated to saving every animal in need. While the organization mostly rescues cats, this rescue also takes in dogs. Wizard of Paws is a strong advocate of spay and neuter programs and actively helps with the TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) of feral cats in our area.
The animals come in as strays or from overpopulated shelters in the area. The organization also helps people who need to re-home their pets for various reasons. Wizard of Paws always promotes rescuing locally as there are so many animals here in NJ and the Tri-State area that need help. The organization believes adoption is key to supporting our community. Wizard of Paws says there are many ways to get involved. If you can foster, please do! If you are unable to foster, sign up to volunteer to walk dogs or clean cages at your local shelter or, help rescues spread the word about spay/neuter and TNR.