There are more than 100 animal shelters in New Jersey – all with the mission of saving lives. But at the Voorhees Animal Orphanage, we like to think that we stand out from the pack. Here’s how:

1. All are welcome at our shelter

We accept every cat and dog from our contracted towns that walks through the threshold of our building – no matter their age, breed or medical history. We even always welcome our animals back if they turn out to not be the right match for their new family. Since we serve as a municipal animal shelter for 22 towns in southern New Jersey, we receive a lot of strays and unwanted animals, but this makes our work more rewarding. There is nothing better than seeing unwanted animals transform under our care and find their forever homes.

2. We put our dreams on hold for our animals

Our animals ALWAYS come first at VAO. We have wanted to build a new shelter for more than 10 years, but we knew that we didn’t want to take funds away from our animals. The only income our shelter receives is from monthly stipends from the towns we serve, and adoption fees – we rely heavily on fundraising and the generosity of our supporters. We saved for the last decade and launched a Capital Campaign in order to fulfill our dream and give our animals the best temporary home, until they find their permanent one.

3. We have the BEST staff

The small but mighty VAO staff is always willing to go above and beyond for our animals. They constantly sacrifice their time and energy to make sure that our animals are happy in their temporary home. They would rather see the donations we get go towards the animals than covering salary expenses.

4. We aren’t building the Taj Mahal

It was very exciting for us to finally get our dream of building a new shelter, but we also made sure the new shelter was built in the most efficient way possible. Our animals deserve the best home, but they also deserve to have beds, walks, medical care, food, treats and more. We are getting the upgrades that we desperately need without making any sacrifices to the care we provide for our animals.

5. We find the right fit for our animals

We want to make sure that our animals find their loving forever homes – this means working with the animals to correct any behavioral issues, identifying what home environment would best suit them and combing through applications to find the purrfect match. We also understand that sometimes the pairings do not work out, which is why we always take our animals back in those cases and continue to work to find them loving permanent homes.

6. We get groovy with our community at Woofstock

For more than 20 years we have been inviting thousands of animal lovers and local members of the community to come out and enjoy our Woofstock Festival – complete with food, activities, music and more.

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