Families in Need Able to Keep Their Pets With Help from Companion Animal Advocates

Companion Animal Advocates wants every family to keep their pet.
If you have a cat or a dog you probably consider your pet a member of the family. You celebrate your cat’s birthday. Your dog sits on the sofa with the kids in the photo you send out around the holidays.

Imagine if one day you lost your job or a medical emergency made it impossible to pay your bills. You can now barely feed your own family, how will you feed your beloved pet? You might be forced to make a heartbreaking choice and surrender your furry friend to a shelter.

In New Jersey, an amazing organization, Companion Animal Advocates (CAA), was conceived to address this issue and help families in need keep their pets. The non-profit, volunteer organization is committed to keeping family pets from being surrendered to already crowded shelters because their owners can no longer care for them. Established five years ago by former board members of the Oakland, NJ Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, Inc., CAA envisions “a future where every pet has a family and every family can keep their pet."

 "We all wanted to do something help animals and our love of animals," said Christine Devereaux, Vice President, Companion Animal Advocates, "We decided to help families keep their animals before they get to a shelter." 

As of April 1, through Operation Feed-a-Pet, CAA feeds 330 pets each month and raised 398,570 bowls of Purina cat and dog food. That’s 159,428 pounds of pet food delivered. CAA works with local food banks such as Center for Food Action (CFA) in Saddle Brook, Ringwood and Mahwah as well as the Social Service Association of Ridgewood and vicinity, to help people in need feed their pets.

“I know what it’s like to go without food,” a female client of the Center for Food Action (CFA) in Mahwah told Office Manager Bev Sullivan. “So when a hungry stray cat appeared at my door one day. I had to feed and care for her. If not for the Companion Animal Advocates pet food program at CFA, I would have had to turn my back on her. She is now a part of our family and brings us joy each day.”
CAA also reached out to Kelly, a homeless woman living in an area shelter with her 16-year-old daughter and two dogs. The organization donated a case of soft dog food for 13-year-old Star who cannot chew dry food. She was also provided with a full year supply of Frontline and Heartguard for the dogs. Kelly had this to say about CAA in an email:

"We are so grateful for all of your love and continued support. The dogs tummies are filled once again this morning with their generously donated food and are in good spirits."

CAA is serious in its commitment to help family pets. In addition to feeding the hungry, CAA has a mission to protect by teaching safety within the community, to help stop littering by providing free or low-cost spay and neuter services and to help with pet retention by finding homes for animals in need.

Companion Animal Advocates facilitated the placement of 80 sets of pet oxygen masks through Bergen and Passaic Counties in New Jersey with their Pet Oxygen Mask Program. The masks come in three sizes for large, medium and small dogs and cats. These specially sized masks will enable firefighters or EMTs to deliver oxygen to pets in need and in some cases save their lives.
"My goal," said Devereaux, "is to get every town in Bergen County equipped." 
 And CAA has that goal in sight.

As part of its humane education program CAA paid for 170 pets to be spay/neutered through their Stop Littering campaign. They advertise the program with stickers on the bags of pet food they provide.

Kristina Franklin and Karen Ruiz are both very pleased by the help they received from CAA.

Inigo the Chihuahua was helped by CAA.
“I have a Chihuahua named Inigo. I needed to have him neutered,” said Kristina Franklin, “but I could not afford to do so. I went to the Center for Food Action in my town and there like a godsend was a card (from CAA) that offered a free neuter or spay...” This was such a wonderful blessing to me as I have limited and low income.” 
“I have a 7 month male kitten named Boots and I wanted to neuter him right away but my vet was charging $450," said Karen Ruiz. “Thank God I found Companion Animal Advocates because thanks to their program I was able to neuter him and now he’s a much healthier and calmer kitten.”

Companion Animal Advocates collected pet food and supplies during the Hurricane Relief Drive to be distributed to families with pets impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Companion Animal Advocates is an inspiration, providing hope to families in need with pets.

You can help Companion Animal Advocates feed family pets. It's easy! 
Call Purina at 800-778-7462 and request $1 coupon for Purina products. 
Then send to:
Companion Animal Advocates
P.O. Box 61
Hillsdale, NJ 07642

Or go here and print out coupons and sent to Companion Animal Advocates. 

Consider having a coupon day at work or a fundraiser.

photo credits:
boy and cat for illustrative purposes only: piers nye on flickr
Inigo: used with permission from Companion Animal Advocates


  1. Wow, what an amazing group CAA is, and doing such wonderful work! Thank you for sharing about them, Ann!

  2. They are Companion Animal ANGELS. An amazing group of dedicated volunteers who have greatly improved the quality of life for the pets and their owners who benefit from their generosity.


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