9 Local Animal Rescues in North Jersey to Find Your New BFF

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We are so fortunate in New Jersey to be full of dedicated, wonderful rescues who save the lives of local dogs and cats. When adopting your next pet, it’s important to do so from a reputable rescue. There are so many animals in need right here in our area and the rescues below make it their mission to make a difference within our community. Below, we’ve got a list of 9 local dog and cat rescues {in North Jersey} that will help you find the perfect furry friend:

dog adoption wise animal rescue

Chance at Life Cat Rescue

Chance at Life Cat Rescue is a foster-based, cat rescue in Northern NJ. While their animals are mostly in foster homes, they host adoption events twice a month from 12:00PM to 5:00PM at the PetValu in Dumont, NJ.

Chance at Life Cat Rescue is dedicated to rescuing, caring for, and placing homeless cats in the hands of caring people. It is founded on the principals of education and practices of kindness and respect for all animal life. It also promotes the importance of spaying and neutering in order to slow the nationwide trend of needless euthanasia. The cats are rescued mostly from Bergen County {Dumont, Bergenfield, Teaneck, Closter, etc.}, but are also rescued from the Paterson Shelter and other local, municipal shelters.

One of their rescue’s pillar quotes is, “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.―A.A. Milne.”

Contact Information:

Website: http://chanceatlifecatrescue.com
Email: chanceatliferescue@gmail.com
Phone: 201-982-2219
Facebook: /Chance-At-Life-Cat-Rescue
Instagram: @chanceatlifecatrescue


CLAWS is another foster-based, dog and cat rescue who also runs a Pet Food Pantry at 63 N. Washington Ave, Bergenfield which is open Saturday and Sunday from 9:30AM to 11:30AM. They house about 6 cats there at any given time. All their adoptable pets can be found on their website.

CLAWS is committed to helping animals within the Northern NJ area. Their goal is to encourage and foster humane attitudes and behavior toward animals. CLAWS serves as a resource to the community and they work hard to place unwanted or abandoned pets in loving, permanent homes. They put a strong emphasis on educating and encouraging the public to spay and neuter their pets in order to alleviate pet overpopulation. The animals they rescue come from local shelters such as the Teterboro Animal Shelter and Bergen Protect and Rescue.

CLAWS strongly encourages the community to spay and neuter their pets or, if you find strays, to call a rescue who can help get that cat or dog spayed or neutered. It will help keep the number of stray animals down.

Contact Information:

Website: Clawsadopt.com
Email: Clawsadopt@yahoo.com
Phone: 201-768-0200
Facebook: /ClosterAnimalWelfareSociety
Instagram: @clawsadopt

Brick City Rescue Inc.

Brick City Rescue Inc. is a foster-based, dog rescue located in Northern New Jersey. To meet their pets, you must make an appointment.

Brick City is dedicated to finding loving, stable homes for all adoptable, homeless dogs in NJ with a focus on bully breeds. They encourage compassionate and responsible behavior and supply training, food, shelter, and medical care for all of their animals. Brick City works hard to be a community resource, disseminating valuable information to the public by promoting responsible pet ownership and providing education regarding breed discrimination.

The majority of the dogs Brick City rescues are from inner-city, high-kill shelters in our area. They also take in strays and owner surrenders. Brick City says, “We won’t stop until we save them all,” and we love their mission.

Contact information:

Website: www.brickcityrescue.com
Email: info@brickcityrescue.com
Phone: 862-213-4836
Facebook: /brickcityrescue
Instagram: @brick_city_rescue
Twitter: @brickcityrescue

Halfway Hounds

Halfway Hounds is a located in Park Ridge, NJ. Although they do not have a facility and try to find foster homes for all of their dogs, they also utilize local boarding facilities as temporary placement until a foster home is found. The rescue only holds about 7-8 dogs at a time so that they can provide personalized training and care.

Halfway Hounds’ mission is to give potentially adoptable shelter dogs a second chance to find their forever home. Many of these adoptable dogs have run out of time and options, and all they need is a place to stay and some training until they find their forever home. They provide temporary kennel housing, grooming, behavior assessment, obedience training, medical attention and all the love a dog could need until it finds a family. Halfway Hounds’ goal is to find a home for every adoptable dog, educate the community about dog behavior, and provide necessary training for the dog and its family to ensure a successful adoption.

Halfway Hounds prides itself on trying to take the burden off our local shelters who are filled with amazing dogs of all sizes, colors, and breeds. Most of their dogs come from Associated Humane Societies-Newark Branch. They also receive and take in owner surrenders.

Halfway Hounds says they, “visualize a community in which no adoptable pets are euthanized, all pets are wanted and considered part of the family, and Halfway Hounds is a valuable resource for education and training, to assure successful and permanent placement of shelter dogs”.

Contact information:

Website: www.halfwayhounds.org
Email: info@halfwayhounds.org
Facebook: /halfwayhounds
Instagram: @halfwayhounds


JerseyCats is a foster-based, cat rescue working primarily in Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City and Weehawken. Their cats can be seen online at jerseycats.org. They also hold regular adoption days at Hoboken Pet {524 Washington Street in Hoboken}.

JerseyCats is a volunteer-run, foster-based rescue dedicated to improving the lives of homeless cats and kittens through rescue and adoption. JerseyCats strives to find homes for friendly, adoptable cats in need. They rescue homeless cats and kittens from unsafe or undesirable situations, predominantly in Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City, and Weehawken. They are strong advocates for spay and neuter and also encourage people to keep the pets indoors so they are safe in this urban environment. JerseyCats wants to spread the message of commitment and love for all animals.

Contact Information:

Website: www.jerseycats.org
Email: info@jerseycats.org
Phone: 201-305-3436
Facebook: /jerseycats
Instagram: @jerseycatsorg
Twitter: @jerseycatsorg

Rescue Haven Foundation

Rescue Haven Foundation is a foster-based, dog rescue out of Caldwell, NJ. The mission of Rescue Haven Foundation is to save dogs and give them a chance at a new life. They do this by providing foster homes that will nurture a dog’s physical and emotional health. While the dogs are in their foster homes, their dedicated volunteers help locate ideal forever homes and provide their fosters and adopters with support and training. This training and support helps ensure that adopters have positive adopting experiences and, most importantly, that the dogs stay in their new homes permanently. All of their animals come from local shelters including Paterson, Newark, and NYCACC. They also take in strays and owner surrenders. Their foster program was designed by dog trainers and behaviorists to ensure that they have resources, training, and behavior help available.

Rescue Haven believes in “quality over quantity” and keeps their foster program small and manageable so their dogs can receive everything they need while they wait for their forever homes. Rescue Haven takes dogs of all breeds and sizes and welcomes medical cases, seniors, and special needs dogs. The rescue is partnered with the Verona Animal Hospital to ensure that their dogs have access to high-quality, modern veterinary care.

Rescue Haven says they pride themselves on their match-making skills and they work hard to make sure every dog and every adopter are compatible.

Contact Information:

Website: www.RescueHaven.org
Email: info@rescuehaven.org
Facebook: /rescuehavenfoundation
Instagram: @rescuehaven

Second Chance Pet Adoption

Second Chance Pet Adoption League is a foster-based, dog rescue that holds adoption days at their vet’s office, Animal Clinic of Morris Plains, every Sunday 12:30PM to 3:00PM. They are a small organization of a few, dedicated people that work hard to find homes for deserving dogs. Their rescues come mostly from local shelters/pounds that may be forced to euthanize adoptable dogs due to lack of space. They also rescue dogs from puppy mills where they live in cages neglected until they are no longer useful. Second Chance Pet Adoption League also accepts owner-surrendered dogs on a limited basis depending on space. The rescue puts a strong focus on saving seniors, shy dogs, dogs with special medical needs, and others who benefit from the extra care they receive in a foster environment.

Second Chance Pet Adoption League says, “Seniors make the best friends! Though they may need some extra medical care to keep them happy and healthy, it’s very rewarding to open your home to an older dog in their golden years.” They also believe it’s very rewarding to work with the shyest dogs who come from neglect, hoarding cases, or puppy mills that have never known human kindness — to see them learn, grow, and form a special bond once they trust you.

Contact Information:

Website: www.secondchance.petfinder.com
Email: njwoof@cs.com
Facebook: /SecondChancePetAdoptionLeague
Instagram: @second.chance.nj

Wise Animal Rescue

Wise Animal Rescue is based in Northern New Jersey, but has fosters and volunteers throughout the Tri-State area that support their mission and cause. They believe that without these amazing people, their rescue could not operate as it is entirely run by volunteers and fosters.

W.A.R. is dedicated to rescuing dogs of all ages and breeds from places where they are no longer wanted or are not being properly cared for. By partnering with veterinary practices that support their work, they are able to save dogs’ lives and restore them back to health. Central to their mission is to ensure that all dogs are spayed/neutered, up-to-date on shots, and microchipped. Prior to adoption, all of their dogs are placed into responsible, loving foster homes to be socialized and trained rather than put in a shelter environment.

The majority of the dogs rescued by W.A.R. come directly from New Jersey. They also occasionally rescue dogs from Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania but are dedicated to saving those who need them within our community as there are so many. The dogs are transferred out of local, municipal shelters, are surrendered by their owners, or are found as strays.

W.A.R. recently started a program to promote and encourage the adoption of senior dogs who need medical attention and loving, supportive forever homes. The program is called “Lola’s Legacy” and the dogs remain in the care of the rescue and their amazing foster families until their passing. The rescue fundraises and financially supports the dogs until it’s their time to cross over the Rainbow Bridge.

Contact Information:

Website: wiseanimalrescue.org
Email: wiseanimalrescue@gmail.com
Facebook: /wiseanimalrescue
Instagram: @wiseanimalrescue

Wizard of Paws

Wizard of Paws is a foster-based, cat and dog rescue founded right here in Hoboken that is run by fosters and volunteers all over the state. They are dedicated to saving every animal in need. While they mostly rescue cats, this rescue also takes in dogs. Wizard of Paws is a strong advocate of spay and neuter programs and actively helps with the TNR {Trap-Neuter-Release} of feral cats in our area. Their animals come in as strays or from overpopulated shelters in the area. They also help people who need to re-home their pets for various reasons. Wizard of Paws always promotes rescuing locally as there are so many animals here in NJ and the Tri-State area that need help.

They believe adoption is key to supporting our community. Wizard of Paws says there are many ways to get involved. If you can foster, please do! If you are unable to foster, sign up to volunteer to walk dogs or clean cages at your local shelter or, help rescues spread the word about spay/neuter and TNR.

Contact Information:

Email: wizardofpawsrescue@gmail.com
Facebook: /wizardofpawsrescue
Instagram: @wizardofpawsrescue

**Please note: There are more rescues, but these are some of our favorites. Feel free to comment below with other rescues you love and have found to be reputable.**

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Kristina made Hoboken home four years ago after falling in love with its charm, liveliness, and great restaurants and bars. She decided to turn her passion for this city into her full-time career by becoming a real estate partner at Prime Real Estate Group. In her free time, Kristina is involved in the rescue dog community, volunteering for our local animal shelter, Liberty Humane Society, as well as being the Adoption/Foster Coordinator for Wise Animal Rescue. Her mission is to find properties for people and pets because every dog should have a home and every home should have a dog! If you see Kristina out walking her dogs around the Mile Square, stop her to chat about her two favorite things: real estate and rescues!