It’s a sad story, but unfortunately not an uncommon one: due to lack of financial support, a North Jersey animal shelter recently announced that it was closing its doors for good. Since 1996, The Bloomingdale Regional Animal Shelter Society (B.A.S.S.) provided shelter and exceptional care for abandoned, stray, and owner-surrendered pets in North New Jersey while working to place animals in new, loving homes.

But according to a story in

Ellen Ribitzki, president of the Bloomingdale Regional Animal Shelter Society, said the non-profit organization has been cash-starved for years. Donations were down and until September the society hadn’t been paid by the borough to manage the shelter since 2006, when its contract expired, forcing the society to spend its savings to afford upkeep and improvements.

Unable to reach a contract agreement with the Bloomingdale Borough Council that would have provided the municipal subsidies necessary to continue their work, BASS had no choice but to close up shop before facing the significant influx of new animals that generally accompanies the spring season.

“Knowing that kitten season is right around the corner and we would be inundated with little lives we couldn’t afford, we were forced to make the extremely difficult decision to keep the animals currently in our care safe and vacate our flood-prone shelter,” said Ribitzki.

Thankfully, staff and volunteers have been able to place the shelter’s 100 cats and dogs in foster homes and with other shelter agencies, and will continue to facilitate pet adoptions through However, since the borough is now without a shelter or rescue organization to help provide adoption service support, there is some concern that this parting of ways will lead to an increase in euthanasia rates:

“This is not hardball. This is reality. We can’t afford to take any more animals in. We want to make sure the shelter does not become a high-kill shelter and that the borough does not add any more towns [using the Brandt Lane shelter] without checking with us,” said Ribitzki.

Though unfortunate, this story brings the gravity of our mission into sharp relief. Without local, grassroots support, any pet shelter in Anytown, USA, could be facing the same fate as BASS. Had this shelter not been entirely dependent on municipal subsidies to manage their local shelter, it’s possible that the homeless dogs and cats of Bloomingdale would now have a more certain and secure future.

Thankfully, you can prevent your local shelter from having to make such a difficult decision. All you have to do is click on the “Find a Shelter” button on our homepage, type in your zip code, and choose a local organization to support. There are plenty of them out there, and every single one will be eternally grateful for any help you can afford to offer.