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Gloucester County Animal Shelter Has Many Furry Friends Looking for Forever Homes

Meet Drew Barrymore! Drew is a six-month old kitten looking for a forever home. She is still a bit shy, and would need an owner who can spend plenty of time helping her more comfortable. (Photo GCAS)

(Clayton, NJ)—The Gloucester County Animal Shelter (GCAS) is open to help Gloucester County families find their new furry friends.

Adoption hours have been updated at the Gloucester County Animal Shelter to Tuesday through Thursday noon to 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday noon to 4 p.m.

Adoption hours are by appointment only. GCAS is still limiting access to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Any Gloucester County resident interested in adopting from GCAS can call (856) 881-2828 ext. 1 for adoptions. You can also fill out an adoption application online at and a staff member will contact you with an appointment time.

“It’s our top priority to get our animals into loving forever homes. The staff at the shelter will carefully walk you through the adoption process so you’re comfortable with your choice and ready to take your pet back to your family,” said Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger.

Animals are still adoptable at a discounted price. The shelter is still discounting adoption fees for the animals at the shelter. Animals 6 years old and younger will have their adoption fees reduced to $35. Dogs and cats 6 years and older will have their adoption fees completely waived.

“We also want to remind residents of our Pet Food Pantry,” said Freeholder Deputy Driector Frank J. DiMarco. “We created this pantry to keep your pets in your homes. We know the pandemic has caused financial stress for many residents, so please don’t hesitate to pick up food for your pet at the shelter if you’re in need.”

Any pet owner struggling to feed their pets due to the COVID-19 pandemic, can visit the Pet Food Pantry to pick up pet food for their dogs and cats.

If any Gloucester County resident is in need of food please call the shelter to confirm availability and schedule a time for pickup at (856) 881-2828 ext. 3.

To view all of the adoptable pets patiently waiting for their forever homes, visit Petfinder.

Ott’s on the Green Fundraiser to Benefit GCAS

The Gloucester County Animal Shelter (GCAS) and the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders will partner with Ott’s on the Green of Washington Twp. every Monday in November to raise funds for the shelter.Ott’s on the Green is located at 340 Greentree Rd., Washington Twp.

With each flyer presented during the Dine-to-Donate events, Ott’s will donate 20% of food sales to the shelter.

Valid for dine-in or takeout food.

Flyers must be printed and distributed prior to the event and given to the serve when paying the bill.

Not valid with happy hour or other daily specials.

Feature Stories News

Op Ed From Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher: Please Give Our Farmers a Brake

In New Jersey, agricultural operations enjoy both a luxury and a challenge in being close to where people live who want their farm products.

This creates a beneficial dynamic in which residents of many New Jersey communities form a close bond with their local farmers, get to see the creation of their dietary raw ingredients “just down the road,” and even visit those nearby farms that have incorporated agri-tourism into their business models.

This is especially true in autumn of each year. Outdoor on-farm activities are always popular in the fall, from corn mazes to apple picking to pumpkin patches, many farms in New Jersey have successfully added a farm-visit experience to their offerings. This year, with many popular indoor activities curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor farm visits are being embraced by more and more residents seeking farm products and wholesome fun.

Autumn also brings to our industry the height of the harvest season.

Farmers are racing against the clock to bring in all their wonderful fall agricultural products and wrap up production activities for the year.

Soon, as winter descends upon our region, those farms that don’t operate year-round will take their short respite between the end of the autumn harvest and the next planting season in the spring.

So, for the next several weeks, as this year’s fall harvest culminates, New Jersey residents should see increased activity of farm vehicles out on the roads, from tractors to trucks to hay wagons. It’s an important time to remind other motorists that these are working vehicles driven by farmers and their employees, many of whom are their family members, from whom we all benefit through close proximity.

Please, as you are out and about, even if it’s just making your daily commute, or errands, consider the work our farmers are conducting and the vital job they do by cooperating.

No one likes being caught behind a slow-moving vehicle on the road, whether it is a tractor or just someone driving a passenger car very slowly. But it is only a few minutes and doing something rash like trying to pass a long line of cars without knowing what’s coming in the opposite direction could endanger lives.

Please make sure our farmers will still be here with us next year. Show some patience. It is one of the best thank you gestures we can give to them. Stay safe!


Douglas H. Fisher, Secretary of Agriculture

Feature Stories News

Water’s Edge Opens State-of-the Art Dialysis Unit

The Water’s Edge team and Physicians Dialysis is proud to announce the opening of their on-site, state-of-the-art Dialysis Unit.

Individuals with end stage renal disease who reside near or at Water’s Edge Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center can now utilize our new wing in a safe, sanitary, and familiar setting.

With over 30 years of experience, Water’s Edge has established a reputation for the highest standard of care.

Particularly during the Coronavirus pandemic, Water’s Edge has proven to maintain this level of care no matter the circumstance. Experience a beautiful dialysis unit that offers a start-to-finish renal care program, all close to home.

Why choose Water’s Edge dialysis unit for your recovery? Our spacious, beautiful on-site treatment center – with a dedicated separate entrance – is staffed by highly trained nurses administering care via state-of-the-art dialysis equipment. All CDC and Department of Health regulations are meticulously upheld, with surfaces and equipment sanitized regularly and proper social distancing enforced.

“The opening of this unit represents a new phase for Water’s Edge. We’re so excited to be able to serve our community in a whole new way! Renal care has continually been a requested service from our beloved residents, and we’re excited to have risen to their expectations. We invite you to reach out to our admissions team today to see how we can help you discover your healthiest self!” says Doris Glover, Director of Admissions for the new unit.

Water’s Edge Dialysis Program is now open and accepting patients. The team is excited and eager to offer you a virtual tour!

Please reach out to the customer service team today to begin your journey towards renal health.

About Water’s Edge Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center:

Water’s Edge is a state-of-the-art rehabilitation, post-acute, and long-term care center located in the heart of New Jersey. For years, Water’s Edge has proven to be a premier name in the long-term care industry. Our stellar reputation precedes us, and we take great pride in the trust our
residents and their loved ones place in our hands. We invite you to learn more when you reach out to our customer service team at 609-393-8622.

About Physicians Dialysis:

For more than 30 years, Physicians Dialysis has delivered high-quality dialysis solutions. As a physician-owned and physician-directed company, we emphasize patient care and strive for clinical excellence. We apply a holistic approach to treatment that includes using the latest
technology, recruiting, and training specialized staff, and providing education to engage patients, improve outcomes, and reduce the likelihood of hospitalizations.

Physicians Dialysis provides “the right care the right way.” For more information, please contact us at 305-651-3261.

Feature Stories News

Ocean County YMCA Needs Your Help

Toms River — What does 50 years of service to the community look like? At the Y, it has meant generations of families finding their way through health and wellness opportunities.

Countless friendships fostered. Individuals finding strength in numbers. Children learning and growing. Affordable childcare, nourishing meals and friendly check-ins.

Whatever the need, the Ocean County YMCA has been there through it all. And now the Toms River nonprofit needs your help.

Next month, the Ocean County YMCA will celebrate its 50th anniversary of service to the community. Although the nonprofit will not celebrate the milestone as planned, it has developed a Recovery Fund to ensure that it will come back stronger and better in 2021.

To that end, the Ocean County YMCA’s Board of Directors is committed to raising $250,000. With their personal donations and funds raised, we are nearing $100,000 towards this goal.

To aid in these efforts, the Grunin Foundation has started a $50,000 in Celebration of 50 Years of Service Matching Challenge Grant.

The foundation will match every new donation to the Ocean County YMCA dollar for dollar through the end of the year up to $50,000.

“The Ocean County YMCA is a hub for health in our community,” said Jeremy Grunin, President of the Grunin Foundation. “From empowering youth to providing a place for seniors to stay active, the Y works to improve mental, physical and social health for all. During the pandemic, they haven’t missed a beat, ensuring programs stayed running safely whether virtually or in-person. As the YMCA celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Grunin Foundation is proud to support the Ocean County YMCA while they continue to elevate our community and economy by keeping residents active and healthy.”

With the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the Y, Ocean County YMCA Board Member, Brian Tramontano, shared what he has valued most throughout the years enjoying all that the YMCA has to offer. Brian states, “My favorite time here at the Y is watching my daughter and son take swim lessons in the same pool where as a child I learned to swim. Passing this valuable life lesson from generation to generation is an amazing experience.”

This holds true for so many Y families in Ocean County. “This is why we are sending this appeal to you,” explained Michael P. Ritacco, Board Chair of the Ocean County YMCA.

When the Ocean County YMCA was forced to close its doors in March due to COVID-19, the nonprofit did whatever was necessary to help meet the needs of its neighbors. “Despite the devastating impact that this pandemic had on our programs, members and staff, the Ocean County YMCA has continued to step up to serve our community’s most compelling needs,” shared Peter T. Rosario, President & CEO of the Ocean County YMCA.

Throughout the shutdown, the Ocean County YMCA continued to honor its promise that social distancing would not become social isolation. “We served thousands of meals, created virtual content for people of all ages, including a weekly Zoom meeting that provided a personal connection. Telephone outreach initiatives were put into action to protect our most vulnerable members, we implemented online learning opportunities, and remained connected with our followers on social media,” added Rosario.

Over the summer, programming began to shift from online to outdoors, serving 131 summer campers and 62 swim team members (which has now grown to 194 during the fall). The Ocean County YMCA also provided a total of 80,505 meals to those in need throughout Toms River. Most recently, the Ocean County YMCA opened its facilities during school hours to provide children with supervised space to attend virtual classes as parents returned to work.

“At this most critical time, we need all past and present members of our Y family to come together and support the Ocean County YMCA,” said Ritacco. “With your help, our YMCA will provide the next generation with a welcoming, safe place where the front door is open to all.”

To learn more about the Ocean County YMCA or to make a donation, visit

About the Ocean County YMCA

At the Y, we take immense pride in our work to strengthen communities and help all of us be our best selves. We provide a place to play, to learn, to be healthy, and to give back.

We believe that everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from, deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. Everything the Y does is in service of making sure people and communities thrive.

The Ocean County YMCA in Toms River features the following onsite amenities: 6,800 sq. ft. functional wellness arena, cardiovascular center, 12 lane competitive size pool with access to adult and family locker rooms, and child watch room.

To learn more, visit

Feature Stories News

Acenda Marks Start of Annual Spirit of the Holidays Toy Drive

GLASSBORO, NJ – Acenda is hosting its annual Spirit of the Holidays Toy Drive virtually this fall. The program, which benefits children and youth throughout New Jersey, will run through Friday, December 4.  

“We are proud to be able to continue our Spirit of the Holidays toy collection, as now more than ever, our children and families need our support during this challenging year,” said Mari Considine, Chief Development & Marketing Officer, Acenda. “Thanks to caring businesses, individuals, and community partners, we are able to host our empowering initiative year-after-year and ensure the children we serve can experience the awe and wonder of the holiday season.”

Spirit of the Holidays supports children and families throughout New Jersey receiving services from the health and social services organization. The toy collection is an annual event that has been hosted by Acenda, formerly Robins’ Nest, for over twenty years. Last year’s event provided nearly 1,700 children with gifts for the holidays. Gift ideas include riding toys, Leap Frog, musical instruments, dolls, trucks, Disney toys, sports equipment, arts & crafts, makeup, gift cards and more.

A full wish list can be found by clicking here.  

Keeping the health and safety of the Acenda community top of mind, the toy drive will take place in a virtual setting. In support of no-contact deliveries, donors can purchase gifts online and have them shipped to Acenda’s Glassboro headquarters. 

Shopping registries are available online at AmazonTarget, and Walmart to allow donors to safely contribute to the awe and wonder of the holiday season for Acenda’s families.

Donations of gift cards to are also welcomed and will be used to purchase gifts in various age groups. All monetary donations will service both the Spirit of the Holidays toy collection and Acenda programs. 

For more information email or call 844-422-3632 x1021. 

About Acenda Integrated Health 

Acenda Integrated Health is a nonprofit organization dedicated to industry-leading prevention, treatment and wellness services compassionately delivered to ensure that every individual, family and community achieves their greatest potential. 

Acenda is at the forefront of community-based services, providing over 100 health and social service programs at 56 locations throughout a 10-county region in New Jersey.

For more information visit