CLOSTER, N.J. — A Closter-based network of more than 50 volunteers across Bergen County are providing foster care to hundreds of cats and dogs that would otherwise be homeless.
Closter Animal Welfare Society (CLAWS) is a 40-year old nonprofit that brings veterinary, rescue and re-home services to abandoned and unwanted pets.
"We do it out of a pure and true love for animals," said CLAWS Vice President Val Buchtmann, the foster mom to 17 kittens in her Closter home.
On weekends, CLAWS runs a pet food pantry out of a home at 63 North Washington Ave., in Bergenfield.
Owners surrender pets to CLAWS on a daily basis, Buchtmann said.
"People who otherwise would have to surrender their pets can come get food for them," she said.
In April, CLAWS is hosting a large Tricky Tray fundraiser at the Fiesta in Englewood. The group holds various events throughout the year to drum up support.
"We fundraise throughout the year because we have very high vet bills," said Buchtman, who hopes CLAWS will soon be able to open a shelter.
"It is every rescue group's goal to have a facility," she said. "But they are expensive and costly to run."
For now, Buchtmann will settle for finding her animals forever homes.
"One of the biggest joys of fostering is seeing animals get forever homes," she said. "It is a great feeling."
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