Follow us:
856.424.2288 Contact Us
Sign up for our email newsletter!
Animal Welfare Association of New Jersey

COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

Many people have reached out to ask about our plans come May when there could be a slow reopening of some businesses in NJ.  Over the last several weeks AWA adjusted its overall operations, with a reduction in animals housed on site, adoptions through foster families and by appointment, ceasing of vaccine clinics and spay/neuter surgeries at the Pet Clinic while increasing services like the Pet Food pantries to keep pets fed.

We are now determining our next phase of day-to-day operations. We can anticipate that we may never return to business as usual, and we will all have to continue to adjust to a new “business as usual” in many aspects of our lives.  Our dedicated team has been working through how to smartly re-open and begin expanding programs in areas we know there will continue to be demand.

With your help, our new normal can result in our being an even stronger and more effective organization. Please know that health and safety of our employees, clients, volunteers, and animals are of primary importance as we put a reopening plan and new protocols in place. Please stay tuned, and as we know more, we will certainly communicate our plans with you. Stay safe and be well!

Together, neighbor helping neighbor we know we will find our way to better days.

Pets and COVID-19

April 22nd, 2020

With the latest CDC announcement stating that two pet cats in separate parts of New York have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, (the virus that causes COVID-19), we want to remind the public that AWA is committed to bringing you the facts about COVID-19 cases that affect animals.

The AWA team continues to review the latest information coming from AVMA, other animal experts from larger national groups such as HSUS & ASPCA, and the CDC.  There are no evidence dogs and cats can spread the virus to humans.   It is important to stay informed, calm, and love your pet as you normally do.

Our focus in regard to protecting people will continue: wash your hands, social distance with a 6-foot space between you and other people when out in public for essential errands, and wearing a mask. These precautions are to protect you from other people, the #1 carrier of COVID-19.  Of course we also  want to protect our animals!

There is a chance animals could get COVID 19  from us. The few known animals with COVID-19 either did not experience symptoms or symptoms were not serious. Isolation away from the general public is the best thing you can do for you and your pet.

The CDC recommends:

  • Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
  • Leave cats that are not your pets alone unless they are in an emergency situation. Keep owned, indoor cats inside with you.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.

SARS-CoV-2 infections have been reported in very few animals worldwide, mostly in those that had close contact with a person with COVID-19. This study by IDEXX, a global leader in veterinary diagnostics and software, evaluated thousands of canine and feline specimens during validation of a new veterinary test system for the COVID-19 virus and has seen no positive results in pets to date.

However, in the event you do get sick, the recommendation is to keep distance from other members of your household and that includes pets. This still doesn’t mean kicking your animals out of the house. In fact, the current recommendation is that pets that live with positive people should “shelter in place” and not leave the home at all until the person is better.

To create a solid plan for the care of your pet:

1.) Know the facts:  According to the CDC, there is no evidence that people can get COVID-19 from pets. The best place for your animal is inside the home they know and love. If you aren’t feeling well but are still able to provide care for your pet, please keep them at home with you where they’re most comfortable.

2.) If you do become unable to provide for your pet, who can take over for you? Maybe a neighbor, friend, coworker, or family member who could take them in?  Today the most important thing you can do is come up with two potential pet plans and talk directly with those people in case they’re called to action.

3.) Prepare a pet supply kit. Your kit should include the following, as best as you’re able:

  • Name and contact information for the person who can care for your pets
  • Name and contact information for your back-up in case your go-to is no longer able to help
  • Food, treats, a leash, a couple of toys, and any other supplies necessary to care for your pet for at least two weeks
  • A crate or carrier to transport your pet
  • Vaccination records
  • Collars with ID tags (and don’t forget to make sure your pet’s microchip information is up to date)
  • Medications and prescriptions, along with a list of instructions
  • Daily care instructions
  • Contact information for your veterinary clinic

We are committed to continuing the AWA’s mission-critical work for animals and people during these uncertain times. Your support is more critical now more than ever. Together, as a community helping one another we will find our way to brighter days. Now is the time to make a difference for animals in need. Stay well, and thank you!

Your Gifts are Urgently Needed


While everyone’s daily lives are being impacted by COVID-19,the welfare of homeless and needy pets in the community is critically important to us. We are taking our role in being a resource for the community, as well as the safety and welfare of our supporters, volunteers and staff seriously.


Our ability to provide critical care to our most vulnerable animals — regardless of the environment around us — is dependent on your support.


This week we have had many changes to our normal operations

Emergency intake of kittens & rapid foster placement
Crisis transport and commitment to care for 5 heartworm positive dogs from a shelter closed due to COVID19
Rapid expansion of AWA’s Pet Pantry & Pet Food Curb Pick up programs so pets don’t go hungry
Quality care to over 50 animals currently at AWA waiting their adoptions this weekend


If you able please donate $30, $45, $100 or whatever you can afford during this critical time. We are all in this together.

For the welfare of our staff and our community, the management and leadership of AWA have made the decision to temporarily close AWA’s Pet Clinic, Development Office and further restrict access to the adoption Shelter  to the public. This means we will temporarily suspend normal operations and focus our efforts on emergency & direct animal care services only, beginning Monday, March 23 until further notice.

Here’s what that means:

  • Rest assured: all shelter animals will be cared for during this temporary suspension. We’ll be placing them in foster homes with our incredible volunteers and staff.
  • During this time, we plan to provide limited adoption services and pet intake admissions yet we know that these services also may face closure.
  • We are asking many of our staff to stay at home, with the exception of a small team of personnel who will provide very limited services, including:
    • Animal care, veterinary care to shelter animals and Foster animal management (medical care, medicines, foods, and supplies).
    • Pet food and supply delivery for AWA’s Pet Food Pantry and Chow Stops.
  • Receive and assist the community with lost pet / found pet reports.

We will continue to monitor animal welfare issues in our community and with our transport partners during this suspension.

This was an incredibly hard decision to make. I am personally saddened knowing many of our talented team members are out of work.  We’re eager to resume normal services at our shelter and clinic. We’ll let you know right away when we do. We will need  your help more than ever when we are able to bounce back!

Our hearts are with you, your families, and your pets during this unprecedented situation. Stay healthy and safe.

Maya Richmond

Executive Director

Animal Welfare Association

Updated Hours

Adoption Center: by appointment – book online

Pet Surrendering: by appointment – call the shelter

Development Office: Mon – Fri 12pm – 5pm

AWA Pet Clinic

All vaccine clinics from ow through April 30th are cancelled. This includes all Monday, Wed and Saturday clinics. 

All Spay/Neuter events scheduled now through the end of April 30 are cancelled at this time. 

Customer Service / over the counter medicine sales: Mon – Fri 12pm – 5pm