‘Top 20’ Pure Hearts Awardees
Public Servant Awardee: Officer Matthew Woollen of the Runnemede Police Department is an outstanding member of our community! He always will go above and beyond for everyone including our furry friends. He collects donations for the shelters and delivers them all the time. His love for animals and people in the community shows in his dedication. He is always there when someone needs him. He works hard to protect and serve each and every day. He spends his spare time volunteering at shelters and helping children in the community. He takes pride in his job and is loved by everyone in the community. We appreciate him and his kindness not only to us but to our fur babies. For example just recently he went to the Camden County Animal Shelter to help fill Popeyes bucket list and gave him a ride in his Police car. He is a shining example of what a police officer should be! I’m proud to have him serve our community!
Public Servant Awardee: Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt should receive the Pure Hearts Awards for taking action to assist Ben Shore, 16 of Cherry Hill and his service dog Charlie, for petitioning local and state officials to criminalize the denial of legitimate service animals in public places. Ben realized the bill was needed when staff at a Florida airport did not believe his goldendoodle, Charlie, was a service dog. Ben said there is no law on the books in New Jersey that would give police the ability to show up and resolve a similar situation. Currently, that person’s only other recourse would be to file a civil rights complaint. The bill would give police the ability to fine the person denying access between $250 and $1,000 depending on if it is a repeat offense. The Assembly Human Services Committee approved legislation co-sponsored by Pamela R. Lampitt, D-Camden/Burlington, to increase awareness of the programs and services available to New Jersey residents with developmental disabilities.
Public Servant Awardee: Congressman Donald Norcross is creating awareness of the importance of adoption by expressing support for designation of the first Saturday in October as “National Animal Rescue Day“. This will also educate on the importance of spaying and neutering animals and encourage animal adoptions not only in Camden County but across the United States. It is in hopes that “National Animal Rescue Day“ will encourage the support of animal shelters throughout the country with donations of funding and essential supplies, promote animal adoption by telling stories about mistreated animal and successful rescues reduce the need and use of euthanasia and help reduce the number of abandoned and stray animals.
(No Photograph) Public Servant Awardee: Nipsey Rivera, Camden County Detective
Nipsey works as a detective for Camden County and is an animal enthusiast. She joined Camden County Animal Shelter as a volunteer a few years ago to try to give back to the community. She is often at local events promoting awareness about the shelter and all the services there are to offer. She recently became even more involved by becoming part of the Committee for the shelter’s signature fundraising event, Pledge-a-Paw in hopes to help meet and exceed the fundraising goal. She is up to any task as it comes to helping the animals. As a public servant to the community she deserves to be honored for her vital role in impacting the lives of shelter animals.
Public Servant Awardee: Chief Scott Cairns with Oaklyn Fire Department
In Dec, 2018, Oaklyn Fire Dept. was dispatched to an animal rescue. Chief Scott Cairns immediately signed on radio responding to the incident, which was a report of a dog through the ice and in distress. Hearing the report, firefighters donned the ice rescue equipment and responded with the marine unit, the utility, and the ladder company. Chief Cairns arrived and found a dog in the middle of the lake that had broken through the ice and was in immediate danger beginning to go under the water. Battalion Chief Greg Grudzinski and Captain Fred Bartling wearing ice rescue gear entered the ice with the rescue sled. Asst. Chief Rich Repas and Firefighter Catherine Kosinski tended to the safety lines on shore. Upon BC Grudzinski and Capt. Bartling “making the grab”, they were pulled back to shore. The dog was handed off to the shore line personnel, wrapped in blankets, and taken to the department pick up truck’s heated cab to begin reviving the dog from the cold. The dog had suffered minor lacerations during the ordeal. From there the dog was taken back to the fire station to continue rehab and was soon reunited with his family.
Young Hero Awardee: Aidan Page, twelve years old and his sister moved to Pine Hill in the summer of 2017. Although trying to acclimate to a new town and new school, both youths wanted to help the animals at the shelter and coordinated with their individual schools to start a shelter collection. Aidan personally spoke with his principal, but was too late to address the School Board, but was able to work with the teachers and staff. On the pick-up day in December, Aidan and his sister had collected enough food, toys, beds and miscellaneous items that it filled Mom’s SUV to the point that both children could not ride in the car to make the delivery. It is with pleasure to nominate Aidan for his compassion to the animals and willingness to step up to make a difference.
Young Hero Awardee: Briella Page, eight years old and her brother moved to Pine Hill in the summer of 2017. Although trying to acclimate to a new town and new school, both youths wanted to help the animals at the shelter and coordinated with their individual schools to start a shelter collection. Briella and her Mom met with her teacher and principle and began a collection at her school. On the pick-up day in December, Briella and her brother had collected enough food, toys, beds and miscellaneous items that it filled Mom’s SUV to the point that both children could not ride in the car to make the delivery. It is with pleasure to nominate Briella for her compassion to the animals and willingness to step up to make a difference.
Young Hero Awardee: Jenna Lannon is a young hero for shelter pets. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she has a passion for helping pets in animal shelters! She spends her summer days at the shelter or at home by making rice socks to keep the kittens warm at the shelter. You can see her at most of the shelter events asking for donations. She helped organize a table of items to set outside to sell her homemade slime and donated the money she made back to the shelter. She is constantly trying to persuade her parents to bring home foster kitties and puppies and it usually works, she ended up falling in love with one of the foster kitties and convinced Mommy and Daddy to adopt the black kitty, now known as Jinx. Jenna has tons of ideas and is always collecting items to donate to Camden County Animal Shelter. Jenna is an ambitious little girl that will not stop trying to raise money and collecting items for the shelter to use!
Noteworthy Volunteer Awardee: Debbie Wright
Debbie has been a compassionate, tireless advocate for the CCAS shelter rescues for many years. She fearlessly goes to Camden to rescue and T.N.R. cats. As a volunteer coordinator, first at PetCo and now at PetValu, she leads by example. She opened the 2 PetValu sites for CCAS – working with management and recruiting volunteers while holding a full-time job with the State of NJ working with the blind. I have served as a volunteer under her at both locations and have seen firsthand her ability to find great homes for the cats by matching the families with the best fit- including some of the more difficult to adopt cats including our senior kitties. Debbie fosters and provides medical care to some of the ill and fragile babies as well. Although she is genuine and asks for no recognition, she deserves to be honored for her work.
Noteworthy Volunteer Awardee: Karina Sharma is a dedicated advocate for the animals of South Jersey and the Philadelphia area. In recent years, Karina has expanded Dog Town Rescue’s horizons to South Jersey, and is the sole reason we rescue dogs from Camden County Animal Shelter (and other local Jersey shelters). Her compassion for the less-than-desirable dogs has presented us with many “diamonds in the rough“; dogs we may not have otherwise seen potential in, but she did, and is a big reason they now have forever homes to be loved and adored in. Even with tough cases, Karina sees each dog through to their outcome. She is committed to each and every dog we take from those facilities, and gives them chances they otherwise wouldn’t have. As a board member of Dog Town Rescue, and a true advocate for local animals, I believe she is more than deserving of some recognition.
Noteworthy Volunteer Awardee: Kim Mangione is the Director and Founder of New Life Animal Rescue. Kim rescues sick, disabled, injured, and typically euthanized dogs and cats. She has taken many sweet animals into her home and oversees many other foster parents. Her time is spent on tireless nights feeding bottle babies and making sure the sick and injured animals get the best care. Free time is spent finding the right home for the rescue pet and organizing fundraisers so that her organization can continue serving these otherwise hopeless cases. I nominate her because she is genuinely one of the kindest and selfless people that I have ever met. She inspires me and my son to donate supplies, food, and money to her cause as well as VAO, Camden County Animal Shelter, and Gloucester County Animal Shelter.
Noteworthy Volunteer Awardee: James (Jim) Whiteside is a two-tour Vietnam veteran and animal lover. He and his wife are dog lovers and have adopted 3 dogs from CCAS. After adopting from CCAS, Jim decided to start volunteering here as well. Jim suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from the service, and working with the dogs as a volunteer has done wonders for his mental health as well as improved pet socialization. Freezing weather, rain, snow, excessive heat and even holidays do not prevent Jim from coming to the shelter to walk the dogs. He takes extra special attention to specific animal needs and is a great mentor for other volunteers. Having been in places in Vietnam feeling alone and scared, he has empathy as to what the animals are going through. He is truly glad that they are in a nice place and made to feel welcomed and loved. He also goes out of his way to find sponsors for events and assists in renting his VFW for shelter events at a discounted rate. He has made a tremendous impact at the shelter!
Noteworthy Volunteer Awardee: Jenna Quinn is the owner of Champs Dog House in Medford NJ and is an amazing advocate for animals and has rescued countless dogs in and out of our community. She has given countless homeless dogs a new leash on life by helping with grooming, training, and doggy day care services all at her own expense. The dogs that Jenna has rescued are all on expired time. If not for her efforts these animals would have never experienced their new beginnings. Jenna Quinn deserves this award for all that she does for Champs Dog House and for her exceptional service to our community in fighting the fight to end the suffering of homeless dogs and providing them with a new leash on life.
Humane Business Category: Fureverhomes Doberman Rescue, Inc. saves Doberman’s in need in over 20 states in the United States. They fully vet, evaluate and find an immediate matching foster home for the Doberman’s that they rescue. The possible adopters go through a lengthy process involving a background check, veterinary check, recommendations and a meet and greet to see if the Doberman they’re interested matches their lifestyle. I haven’t seen a more deserving rescue to receive an award than Fureverhomes. The length they go to just to save a life is outstanding and honorable. Please consider them when making your decision.
Humane Business Awardee: St. Francis’ Feral Cat Sanctuary. The common practices of calling animal control, and having feral cats taken to a regular shelter only to be euthanized is an out of date practice and these laws need to be changed. Charrene Ens-Hale, of St. Francis’ Feral Cat Sanctuary, have T.N.R and re-homed countless feral cats and kittens with her own funding. There needs to be a place where feral cats can be sheltered, fed, and have medical attention, yet there isn’t
any such place, as of yet. This is why St. Francis’ Feral Cat Sanctuary for these animals should receive the Humane Business Award. If kittens are trapped early enough they can be socialized and re-homed to a loving family. Some of these cats are gentle enough to be placed as PTSD animals. Even some of the older cats can be as well. Charrene has been an advocate for feral cats all of her life and hopes this essay will become talking points for townships in NJ.
Humane Business Awardee: Mount Laurel Animal Hospital goes above and beyond to help animals in the community. They provide substantial donations to local rescue groups and significant discounts on veterinary services. Additionally, MLAH provides pro bono care to police dogs of many towns. They designate a location in their lobby for adoptable cats and host frequent adoption events at their facility. MLAH also provides free X-rays to two local shelters and is the only ER hospital in south Jersey that will provide payment plans to clients with financial needs. MLAH receives cases regularly that were turned away by other hospitals because of a lack of funds and additionally has a non-profit that is funded by employees to help clients in need. They truly go above and beyond for the animals in the community.
Lifetime Pet Achievement Awardee: James is a cat that has overcome extreme life altering odds. He was found injured in Camden in August and was originally brought to Blackwood Animal Hospital where he was named James. James was approximately one year old. He had a fractured jaw and broken leg when he was picked up by an animal control officer. James fell off a balcony from a fifth floor building in Camden. James was immediately treated at Blackwood Animal Hospital and placed into care at Camden County Animal Shelter until a proper foster care home could be found. At Camden County Animal Shelter Clinic, James had extensive surgery to repair a fracture jaw and broken leg. It was a very difficult fracture repair; however he was fortunate enough to make a full recover. He finally was able to be placed in foster care with Katlyn McDonald during his long recovery period. James was eventually adopted by Katlyn and found a safe furever home.
Lifetime Pet Achievement Awardee: Bobby (border collie) Thompson was the face of Pledge-a-Paw 2017 and he and his mom tirelessly advocate and raise money whenever they can for the homeless animals at CCAS. He attends adoption events, welcomes CCAS foster dogs into his home, helps hospice dogs achieve their bucket list and helps with food drives. He is active on social media and, along with his mom Hazel, faithfully promotes the “Adopt Don’t Shop“ philosophy as publicly as he can. He helps his mom make toys and bake snacks for the shelter dogs. Bobby doesn’t forget the cats either. He encourages kitten fostering and buying cat food when CCAS is low. He even picked up and babysat a TNR cat for me when I couldn’t get to the shelter! He does it all with a doggie smile on his face and that cute border collie pep in his step. I can’t think of a pet more deserving of this award.
Lifetime Pet Achievement Awardee: Sweet Pea. On April 17, 2015 the President of NJ Aid for Animals was walking through the Camden County Animal Shelter searching for an abused dog she had gotten word of from a probation officer in Camden. While searching for the other dog, she found Sweet Pea who had been brought in by animal control with severely infected wounds on her head and front legs as she was a victim of dog-fighting. NJ Aid for Animals’ President got permission from the shelter to take Sweet Pea to their vet at Mount Laurel Animal Hospital to begin treatment on her open wounds. The entire time, the dog with the heart-shaped nose never snapped at or fought her caregivers. Instead, she sat and waited as they poked and prodded, trusting that they were there to help her. Sweet Pea was taken in to rescue by NJ Aid for Animals and today, recovered 100%, she is safe, thriving, and enjoying her best life. However, she still makes it a point to give back to her other four-legged friends by donating the proceeds from a yearly event inspired by her story giving back to The Sweet Pea Fund for Abused Animals. All of the donations go towards helping abused and abandoned animals with no advocate like Sweet Pea live happy and healthy lives. Sweet Pea’s abuser was never found but the dog that brought us into the shelter was saved and adopted out by the shelter. Her abuser was charged.
Lifetime Pet Achievement Awardee: Queenie was a shelter pet at Camden County Animal Shelter. During her stay the staff noticed that she had cancer that had spread throughout her body and that there was no treatment to cure her. Instead of being euthanized she is currently in a new program called “Fospice“, which allows her to live out her remaining days in a loving Foster Home until she passes. Queenie is a beautiful girl and happy and not in pain. Queenie should receive the Lifetime Pet Achievement Award because her loving demeanor motivated staff and volunteers to create an amazing program for terminally ill pets to continue to live the remaining time of their lives in a comfortable foster home. This also reduces the number of pets that would most likely be euthanized. It is the hope of the shelter that the “Fospice“ program becomes a part of other shelter practices. Popeye was the first dog in this program and has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Let’s honor Queenie while we still can!