Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pet Fostering Group Forced to Curtail Work

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pet Fostering Group Forced to Curtail Work

Article excerpt

TENAFLY - In the 10 years since Robyn Urman founded the Tenafly- based Pet ResQ Inc. she's saved about 2,500 dogs from abuse, illness and death.

Now, the non-profit that has saved so many creatures is in jeopardy, owing thousands in medical bills. As a result, it has stopped taking in abandoned pets, at least temporarily.

"We're ceasing taking animals in," said Urman, a hairdresser who lives in Dumont and devotes much of her time to saving and caring for animals. "We have a lot of animals now who are older, or who have special needs. Our veterinarian bills exceed $11,000."

To help defray the costs, Pet ResQ is looking toward its annual outdoor fundraiser, called Woofstock, on Oct. 11 at Memorial Park in Tenafly. The event will feature pet vendors and quirky fun for animal lovers and their furry friends.

Urman hopes the event can raise enough money to pay the bills and keep the organization up and running.

But her ultimate dream, she said, is to raise enough funds to open a dog shelter in Tenafly so that the number of dogs she accepts won't be limited by the number of volunteers willing to foster them. Last year, Pet ResQ saved more than 300 dogs from kill shelters, but the group is dependent on volunteers who can foster the dogs until they are adopted.

"Right now, we have 16 dogs in foster homes that need to be adopted and many of them are in need of medical care," Urman said, adding that every day, she is inundated with calls from people and shelters asking her to save dogs who are about to be euthanized. "I'm overwhelmed. Everyone begs me to help and I can't say no."

Medical bills add up to the greatest expense, she said. One of her recent arrivals, April, came to her ill, and medical treatment has exceeded $1,000. Cotton, who came from Egypt, has a hernia and a tooth infection. Her medication and surgery will cost around $1,500, said Urman.

Pet ResQ's funding comes from donations -- most of their money is raised at Woofstock -- and adoption fees, which are about $350 per animal. The $11,000 in debt was accrued over the last six months.

"Robyn is a tireless supporter of animals. She's never said no to a dog, regardless of its medical condition," said Lynn Bonilla, the vice president of Pet ResQ. …

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