Monday, January 1, 2018

Starting a new year with fresh resolve 'for the animals'

Ah-h-h-h-h-h! A new year, with all the hopes and opportunities it brings. I could go on about how 2018 could be a far better year than 2017 was, but . . . let’s just see what happens when I, you and the rest of the world take – or make! -- all the positive opportunities possible.

And those opportunities include and affect animals, of course. If animals only knew about humans’ “new year’s resolutions,” they’d want input.  For some of them right now, the sole implicit resolution is to stay alive!  

To facilitate the best for animals, New Jersey “animal people” in two statewide organizations have set goals bound to make a difference in 2018.

Now beginning its 35th year of activism for animals, the Animal Protection League of NJ will focus on legislation that bans traps and promotes bear-smart practices, besides the animal shelter bill.  APL will fight legislation broadening powers of the Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) or harming animals. The organization supports repealing the 150-foot buffer for bow hunters.
Other goals include expanding work for geese and coyotes and continuing the push for non-lethal deer management. TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) remains a “critical priority,” says Angi Metler, co-founder and executive director. Volunteers are always needed and welcome.  (

Identifying his key priorities for 2018, Brian Hackett, NJ state director of the Humane Society of the US, says puppy mill issues are high on his legislative list, along with the “cockfighting paraphernalia bill.” To lower the cost of animal care, he’s working toward owners posting bond in animal cruelty/hoarding cases.

Hackett wants to help get a ban on baiting black bears – and deer too, ideally – as well as a ban on contest killing/canned contest hunts. 

With A4386, “Nosey’s Law,” banning circuses and traveling shows with live exotic animals,  posted for a full Assembly vote on January 4, Hackett urges bill supporters to phone their Assembly reps, asking them to do the same. He invites questions and suggestions via email (, along with requests to join his monthly newsletter mailing list.

So much for organization goals for animals this year. How about our own? As individuals, what will we do?  Volunteer at an animal shelter? (No better way to see the need for Senator Linda Greenstein’s bill, A3019, to reform NJ shelters – and to help animals housed there. Shelters are particularly ill-suited for cats – make that “life threatening” to cats, few of whom emerge alive.)

Maybe some of us will foster homeless animals -- a major way to help toward eventual adoptions into loving homes without making a long-term commitment.

Donating to or helping with fund-raisers for animals and animal advocacy groups are two more ways to pitch in. Paraphrasing an old slogan, none of us can do everything, but all of us can do something!  

Time for some “cuteness relief” before a closing question.  Kittens are the subject, and the meow sounds they make will charm you. Here’s a very audio video from online Catster magazine – something a hard-copy subscription could never deliver:  

Now to that question: Have you and your pets had any experience with a mobile veterinarian unit?  If so, I’d love to know about it: name, location and contact specs for the service, and your degree of satisfaction with how it worked.  Just comment here, phone or email, please – and thanks.


If you subscribe to this blog and want to comment, please click  


  1. Mobile veterinarian services can be a lifeline for companion animals who are housebound. Cats who are terrified, dogs who cannot walk, and multiple pets in a family are all great candidates for services a mobile veterinarian can deliver. Personalized services are available that meet the needs of individual animals.

    One family that used mobile vet services only for end of life decisions rethought this when Honey, one of their inside semi-feral cats could not be caught for an emergency vet visit. Honey, trapped initially as a feral for spaying, was not going into anything that confined her again. After several cancelled brick-and-mortar vet appointments, the family called a mobile service. Scheduling the appointment took a little more effort, but it was worth it. The vet came to the home and Honey cooperated with a blood draw, getting fluids, and a full check-up. Fortunately, Honey’s bloodwork was good and all she needed was fluids for a slight dehydration issue.

    The family paid less than the brick-and-mortar veterinarian, so in a multi pet household, this can be economical. Some mobile vets charge more for this convenience, so it’s best to check in advance. Many mobile veterinarians are offering routine visits as well as more advance services to their clients.

  2. what a great endorsement for mobile vets! maybe everyone should have contact info handy for such potential time- and life-savers.