Welcome, Jill Rawlins!

Blackwood, NJ — Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Jill Rawlins as its new Executive Director. Jill comes to Homeward Bound with a wealth of experience and an extensive background in strategic planning, financial management and team building.  She has almost 20 years of experience as an Executive Director across various industries and is excited to utilize her skills in the nonprofit sector.

Jill served as Executive Director at Special Equestrians in Warrington, PA.  In her time there, she introduced new organizational plans that saw the creation of three leadership positions, successfully implemented a new community relationship development plan, and ensured a balanced budget. “I have been incredibly fortunate to find an organization that connects my specialized skillset to such a positive, deeply personal mission,” says Rawlins. “I’ve always been passionate about animals and cannot wait to continue the positive growth initiated by Vicki [Rowland].”

Vicki Rowland, the current Executive Director of Homeward Bound, has been leading the way since 2013. She will be stepping down at the end of July to begin the next chapter of her life with her husband in Texas. While she knows she will miss the excitement of shelter life, she is confident that the hard work she put into transforming the shelter into a leading animal welfare organization will be appreciated and continued under the guidance of Rawlins. “I have been working closely with Jill for the last 3 weeks to help her transition, and I have consistently been impressed with her drive, aptitude for strategic planning, and finesse with staff relations. She will safeguard the Homeward Bound legacy well, and the Board and I are thrilled to welcome her to the family.”

To learn more about Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center’s mission to end pet homelessness in South Jersey, visit our website at www.HomewardBoundNJ.org. 


5th Annual Pledge-a-Paw Dog Walk Fundraiser

Annual Pledge-a-Paw Dog Walk Event To Benefit Camden County Animal Shelter
Set For Saturday, October 20, 2018
Dozens Of Vendors, Rescues, And More Set To Participate In A Day Of Family Fun


Gloucester Township, NJ- Camden County Animal Shelter will be hosting its 5th Annual Pledge-a-Paw Dog Walk and Event—sponsored by the Camden County Board of Freeholders—on Saturday, October 20th (11a.m.- 3p.m.) at the Camden County College Blackwood Campus, N.J. Gather your friend, family and co-workers and join us for a family-friendly event and fundraiser to benefit the homeless pets at CCAS.

Camden County Animal Shelter, a nonprofit organization, seeks to raise $65,000 to assist in the care for over 5000 pets a year. All animal lovers and community members are invited to join Camden County Animal Shelter collect donations prior to the event to help meet the fundraising goal. Last year’s event had over 350 participants and local vendors on site and raised $50,000, impressively exceeding the $40,000 goal.

Pledge-a-Paw Dog Walk 2018 is shaping up to be a “can’t miss” event for our friends on both two and four legs. A vast selection of dog walkers, local vendors, and animal welfare groups and rescues will be attending to raise pledges to further benefit the animals of Camden County Animal Shelter.

“We appreciate the support of the community that benefits the homeless animals of Camden County,” said Freeholder Jonathan L. Young, liaison to Camden County Animal Shelter. “Our pets are like family and an event such as this helps us to continue to provide the love and care for so many animals awaiting their second chance!”

The day promises to be both a dog-friendly and family-friendly affair, full of activities and magical memories. Activities include a one-mile dog walk, where fundraisers will walk a one-mile loop with their pet companions, a raffle drawing and prizes, music and entertainment, and an exclusive police canine demonstration, offering an additional educational element. The event truly welcomes local residents from all age groups, boasting a Beer and Wine Tasting for our 21-plus attendees on two legs.

You and your pups may participate in the Pup Cup Eating Contest, Kissing contest, and the Pet/Companion Costume Contest and more entertaining activities. Camden County Animal Shelter will be showcasing their pets available for adoption in the Camden County Animal Shelter ‘Take Me Home’ Pet Parade.

Some confirmed participants include Best Friends Pet Hotel, Caricatures by Steve Lefkowitz, Gloucester Township Police Department, House Paws Mobile Vet, Paparazzi Accessories, SOS Beagle Rescue, and many more. Food vendors include The Chilly Banana and Matty G Dogz.

A huge thanks goes out to our Sponsors that include Camden County College, Camden County Board of Freeholders, Midwest Veterinary Supply, Gerald B. Shreiber Foundation, Merck Animal Health, Chrysalis Technologies, Canine Dimensions, Holman Automotive Group, and Regional Vet.

To register for the dog walk visit www.homewardboundnj.org or call 856-352-6321 for more information.


Margaret L. McLoughney Memorial Fund Supports Lifesaving Programs

A generous donor by the name of Margaret L. McLoughney has helped improve the Lifesaving Programs at Camden County Animal Shelter.  Margaret has had a love and passion for animals her entire life and was always looking for ways to help any animal in need.  Unfortunately, Margaret passed away in October of 2017 after a long and courageous battle with metastatic ovarian cancer.  However, thanks to Margaret’s large contribution and the creation of the Margaret L. McLoughney Memorial Fund, her legacy will live on.

On Saturday, August 11th, from 11 am to 3 pm, Camden County Animal Shelter hosted an Open House in Margaret’s memory to showcase the lifesaving programs that Margaret helped fund, including the Foster Care, Adoption, Community Cat, and Outreach Programs.  During the open house, adoption fees will be waived for all cats and kittens to celebrate Margaret’s love for her felines.  Her contribution will also allow Camden County Animal Shelter to waive adoption fees during any of the high intake months in order to encourage pet adoptions.

Margaret always loved seeing pets go home to their forever families, which is why she wanted to help fund programs that focus on getting animals out of the shelter and into loving homes.  In addition to allowing Camden County Animal Shelter to waive adoption fees, Margaret also helped implement special foster care programs for animals like our neonate kittens.  This allows the shelter to provide these animals with a temporary home prior to their adoption.  For animals who are not qualified for adoption or fostering due to an extreme medical condition, Margaret helped fund our “Fospice” Program, or Foster Hospice, that matches a terminally ill animal with a foster parent who is willing to provide housing for the animal in its final days.

However, Margaret realized that she would not be able to save every animal from shelter life but saw that there was a way to improve these pets’ stay at the shelter by creating the Children Pet Reading Program where children in the community are invited to come to the shelter and read a book to any of the animals.  Not only does this help the children improve their reading skills, but it also allows the animals to spend more time with someone.  Not stopping there, Margaret wanted to get the elderly involved by supporting the Cat Cuddlers Program where the shelter reaches out to retirement homes in the area to encourage foster care, socialization, and enrichment for our animals.

Margaret’s love for animals even extends to the community, especially feral cats.  Camden County Animal Shelter offers a Trap, Neuter, and Return Program for all feral cats to help reduce their rapidly growing population.  Taking this program one step farther, Camden County Animal Shelter introduced the Barn Cat Program, funded by Margaret L. McLoughney, which redirects community cats from the shelter to new families that are seeking a barn cat to help reduce rodent infestation.

Because of donors like Margaret, Camden County Animal Shelter is able to continue its mission to end companion animal homelessness in Camden County through community awareness and responsible ownership. Camden County Animal Shelter invites the community to come on-site on Saturday, August 11th to help celebrate Margaret’s life and the life changing contribution she made for the animals in Camden County.

Camden County Animal Shelter Announces ‘Top 20’ Pure Hearts Awards Recipients

Camden County Animal Shelter, celebrating its 20th anniversary, launched the Pure Hearts Awards from February 14th through April 20th. The Pure Hearts Awards was an online award process where individuals had an opportunity to nominate an individual, business or pet to receive recognition as a Pure Hearts Awardee.

Nominations were open to public individuals to recognize members of the community that have made extreme efforts, improvements and achievements in animal welfare and animal advocacy.

Five categories were determined; Public Servant, Young Hero, Noteworthy Volunteer, Humane Business and Lifetime Pet Achievement. There were numerous nominations made from members of the community, which included an essay and an optional photograph.

The ‘Top 20’ Awardees were chosen based on review from the Judges Committee. To view all the nominees and read the remarkable stories and successes toward the improvement of the humane treatment of animals in the community, please visit www.homewardboundnj.org.

“Our hearts in the animal welfare community go to members of society that deserve to be recognized for their dedication to furthering the mission of Camden County Animal Shelter”, said Vicki Rowland, Executive Director of Camden County Animal Shelter. “Together, we celebrate the compassionate nature of people and pets”.

Public Servant Awardees: Patrolman Matthew Woolleen of the Runnemede Police Department, Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt, Congressman Donald Norcross, Camden County Detective Nipsey Rivera, and Chief Scott Cairns of the Oaklyn Fire Department.

Young Hero Awardees: Aiden Page and Briella Page of Pine Hill and Jenna Lannon of Runnemede.

Noteworthy Volunteer Awardees: Debbie Wright, advocate and CCAS volunteer, Karina Sharma, volunteer for Dog Town Rescue, Kim Mangione of New Life Animal Rescue, and James Whiteside, CCAS volunteer.

Humane Business Awardees: Champs Dog House, St. Francis’ Feral Cat Sanctuary, Fureverhomes Doberman Rescue, Inc., and Mount Laurel Animal Hospital.

Lifetime Pet Achievement Awardees: James, Bobby, Sweet Pea and Queenie.

Camden County Animal Shelter will host a ceremony on May 18th, 2018 to celebrate the ‘Top 20’ Awardees and present them with a Pure Hearts Awards certificate. Please visit https://homewardboundnj.org/pure-hearts-awards/  to view the full list of nominations.

Rent-A-Dog Program at Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center

Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center Introduces New Rent-A-Dog program

Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center launched the program on April 25th and within hours we had three shelter dogs rented for a couple of hours. Cassandra was taken out for a long walk yesterday. Cassandra has been with the shelter since January 2018 that is 4 months today. She is a 4 year, mixed breed who is a laid back girl and has perfect leash manners.

This programs was developed to enrich the daily lives of our shelter pets as well as provide a way the community who would love to own a dog but for one reason or another cannot.  This new program allows for approved patrons to take a Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center “Rent-A-Dog” out for one to three hours during the day; whether it is for a hike, a walk in the park, or just to cuddle. You can now enjoy the company of a shelter dog during your lunch break. This program allows for the shelter pet and renter to de-stress together.

We strive daily to keep our dogs as comfortable as possible but the ultimate goal is to get the dog outside. The time out of the shelter is vital for both the mental and physical health of the dogs in our care. By renting a dog you will help that dog find a home and greatly improve his or her quality of life during their stay with Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center.

The Rent-A-Dog program helps with our long timer dogs who have not found a home. Cassandra was able to enjoy a few hours away because of the special program. At the end of day, Cassandra was returned back to the shelter where she waits for her forever home.

You must be 18 years old with valid driver’s license to qualify for program, complete a dog questionnaire and sign foster care agreement, as well as go through a dog handling session with trained staff and volunteers. You do not need to be an active volunteer; however, we encourage everyone to join!

Please click here to fill out our Rent-a-Dog Questionnaire to have ready when you visit the shelter to pick up your Rent-A-Dog!

Click here for a list of suggestions for your outing with your Rent-A-Dog!

Fox 29 Cover’s Rent-A-Dog Program – Click Here to View!


Story from a Renter:

May 1st, 2018: Taco had a lovely afternoon walk today at Tall Pines.  Such a sweet, well-behaved, handsome man.  Melissa and I can’t wait to take him out again, but we of course hope he finds the perfect “furever” home before we get the chance.
We wanted to pass along that we encountered many other people, dogs, and birds during our outing, and while he was interested, he was in no way aggressive or insistent about interacting with any of them.  He was perfectly behaved in the car, staying calmly in the backseat the entire time without any correction.  He does, for some reason, try to exit through the front.
He drinks very well from a squeeze bottle of water, and easily consumed half a liter over the course of an hour and a half.  He would have had more, and even though it was only about 70°, the exertion and the heat seemed to get to him a bit.  He required a few periods of patient rest over the duration.
All and all, a perfect gentleman, and a lovely companion.
Taco while out with his renter:

Lee Asher to Visit Camden County Animal Shelter

April 18, 2018 Camden County Animal Shelter Hosts Meet’n’Greet with Lee Asher

On April 18th, 2018 Lee Asher and The Asher House will be visiting Camden County Animal Shelter. Lee Asher is an animal enthusiast that is on a journey of a lifetime! Asher had an inspirational idea to use the power of social media to spread awareness about the benefits of adopting a shelter pet. In a leap of faith he decided to sell most of his belongings to purchase an RV, which he intends to travel to each of states in the United States along with his 6 rescue dogs, with a goal to have one adoption at each shelter he visits.

Lee Asher and his team were motivated to visit Camden County Animal Shelter after news that the shelter reached a 91% animal save rate in 2017. In 2017 Camden County Animal Shelter became the leading animal welfare agency in the region with the largest intake and highest save rate in the region.

The event will be held at Camden County Animal Shelter from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Camden County Animal Shelter welcomes potential adopters, fosters and rescues to come and meet Asher to learn about the impact he has had on the nation and help make a difference by adopting as many pets as possible.

“The goal is to have this outreach event where we can all celebrate together and celebrate the direction that animal welfare and the humane treatment of animals is progressing rapidly,” said Vicki Rowland, Executive Director of Camden County Animal Shelter.

Lee educates the public on how shelters are too full and dogs are euthanized every day and how it needs to stop. The Asher House is an organization taking action to do just that. It started with a successful Kickstarter campaign. Lee and his team have a philosophy to show people the amazing breeds that are inside shelters as well as the loving bonds that you can share with your rescue pet through fun and engaging content.

“Every breed can be found in the shelters, every breed can be rescued.” says Lee Asher, founder of The Asher House, “Another vital part of our mission is to introduce people to shelters through events and social gatherings at the shelter and educate them on the importance of local humane societies as well as try to abolish that preliminary fear that person may have had.

To learn more about Lee Asher and The Asher House visit http://TheAsherHouse.com or use @theasherhouse on social media.



For more information on similar programs and partnerships with Camden County Animal Shelter email Melissa Meccariello at outreach@homewardboundnj.org, call 856-401-1300, extension 117, or visit us at 125 County House Road, Blackwood, NJ 08012.

Norcross Calls for National Animal Rescue Day

Norcross Calls for National Animal Rescue Day

Resolution Aims to Save Over 1 Million Strays Killed Every Year

At the Camden County Animal Shelter, Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) today announced a new action in Congress to designate National Animal Rescue Day on the first Saturday of October every year.

More than a million stray cats and dogs are euthanized annually by overburdened shelters across the United States, and Animal Rescue Day will spur a mass campaign about shelters and why families should consider adopting these animals in need of permanent, stable homes.

“My family has included many loving animals over the years, and pets have enriched our lives in countless ways. But many animals never get to be with a family that loves them – and many overwhelmed shelters don’t have the resources to care for them. We can help these shelters and connect loving families to abandoned and stray animals by raising awareness on a new National Animal Rescue Day,” said Congressman Norcross. “Over six million cats and dogs are placed in shelters every year; let’s look into our hearts and encourage successful rescues.”

Specifically, Norcross’ National Animal Rescue Day resolution will encourage the support of animal shelters with donations of funding and essential supplies; promote animal adoption by telling the stories about mistreated animals and successful rescues; reduce the need and use of euthanasia; and help reduce the number of abandoned and stray animals.

Click here to view or download photos from the event at the Camden County Animal Shelter, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

“We are not only honored to host Congressman Norcross, we also know that this is the most appropriate location for this announcement due to the fact that the Camden County Animal Shelter is the only open admission animal shelter in the region to achieve a 91 percent animal save rate in in 2017,” said Freeholder Jonathan Young, liaison to the Camden County Animal Shelter. “National Animal Rescue Day will help us bring more attention to the animals in shelters waiting for their forever homes.”

“All of us in the animal welfare community thank Congressman Norcross for his continued support, and for helping to raise awareness of saving animals through adoption,” said Vicki Rowland, Executive Director of the Camden County Animal Shelter. “Our vision at the Camden County Animal Shelter is to save even more lives in the coming years, and a dedicated National Animal Rescue Day will help us in our goal.”

“I appreciate that the Congressman is introducing this Resolution after I brought it to his office’s attention,” said Gail Kasper. “While it’s up to each person to make a choice to go to a shelter or a rescue first, I firmly believe that every animal deserves a home.”

norcross.house.gov – twitter – YouTube – Facebook – Instagram

Owen and Oletta

“In September 2015 my family adopted Fez, which we renamed Owen, and in November 2015 we adopted Sprite, now named Oletta from Camden County Animal Shelter. We had bought our first house and knew something was missing and a dog was the answer.

Our first few months with Owen were less than ideal as he was a nervous, scared and an anxious 11 month old Pitbull/Boxer. He wasn’t sure if he was home forever or if he would end up back in a shelter cage. As we started our lives as a family of three we all went through a change to learn about each other and how to teach an animal that can’t speak or understand English that he is safe and home forever.

When we adopted Oletta, a Pitbull, in November we found ourselves with two puppies to teach about love, life and forever. Oletta was in worse shape than we imagined when we finally got her home. She was suspected of being used as a bait dog before she was found as a stray. She had mange and a burn on her back, among other obvious signs of abuse and neglect, not to mention the emotional and mental scars that seem to still show themselves today in small glimpses.

Today however, we have two loving, caring and protective dogs that we could not imagine life without. Being greeted every day with wagging tails, endless kisses and cuddles is a priceless treasure that I hope everyone has a chance to experience. The gentle nature and sweet disposition of both Owen and Oletta make them a favorite anywhere they are taken. They enjoy car rides, dog parks, tennis balls and long naps in their Mama and Papa’s bed, always together. They love meeting new people, snowy days, treats, and walks, Chinese food take out white rice, looking out the window for hours, occasionally being naughty and cuddles.

Thank you for bringing these two members of our family into our lives. We are forever grateful and spread the word of animal adoption and Camden County Animal Shelter whenever possible.” Alyssa Engstrom-Dougherty