County animal shelter holds open house

Adoption event results in new homes for 13 dogs and cats

Special to The Sun
The adoption event featured a simulated baseball game between the Burlington Strays (dogs) and the County Cats, where each shelter adoption produced a home run.

The Burlington County Animal Shelter’s April 7 adoption event resulted in forever homes for 13 of its dogs and cats.

The Field of Dreams Open House was organized by shelter staff, Burlington County Commissioners and the Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter. Along with activities and prizes, the event featured a simulated baseball game between the Burlington Strays (dogs) and the County Cats, where each shelter adoption produced a home run.

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The felines prevailed.

“We wanted to do something where we get to showcase the animals outside of their kennels,” explained Ericka Haines, the shelter’s director. “Animals are always so much better when they’re outside the kennels, less reactive, much calmer, and we have a wonderful team of staff and volunteers.

“Shelters can always be very scary and intimidating and overwhelming for the dogs and for people,” she added “so it’s a great way for people to come out in a relaxed setting and meet different animals, whether they want to adopt or just learn about how to take care of animals.”

Among the 13 adopted pets were Ginger, who was surrendered last month after her owner passed away; and Romeo, Pierre and Biscotti, a trio of cats adopted by their foster family.

Special to The Sun
Burlington County Commissioner Deputy Director Dan O’Connell congratulates the mascot for the Burlington Strays canines following one of the six adoptions at the shelter.

For those who missed the open house, there are plenty of opportunities to support the shelter and its animals, including as adopters and foster families. Available animals are listed online at Adoption fees are waived all year long for seniors, veterans and military families.

“It has been a wave of emotions because it’s so great to see that the community backs us and they come out,” Haines observed. “We’ve had such a great turnout with something like this and it’s such a hard thing working in animal welfare, so it gives everybody an opportunity to see the positive.

“It gives us a chance to laugh and work together, so it really is a great chance for everybody just to come out and have a great day.”

Residents unable to adopt or foster can also help by following the shelter’s social media and spreading the word about available dogs and cats. Volunteers can help with shelter tasks, make financial donations or offer the shelter needed supplies.

For more information, including a wish list of needed items, visit

Burlington County Commissioner Deputy Director Dan O’Connell stressed that all the shelter pets are winners, as are the individuals and families who came out for the adoption event.

“Thirteen adoptions in one day is outstanding and shows how events like this that bring people to our shelter to meet and interact with the animals can make a difference,” said O’Connell, who tossed out the ceremonial first pitch for the simulated baseball game.

“ … It was a beautiful day for baseball and pet adoptions.”

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