Blanca is an all-white Stafford Shire Terrier and American Bulldog mix (pictured). Blanca sits up in the first dog run in the Ewing Animal Shelter, which is located just off of Upper Ferry Road at 2 Jake Garzio Drive behind the Ewing municipal building. Christy Garrison with EASEL Animal Rescue League describes her as an “absolute love bug who is sweet as pie.”

It takes a good dog to handle all of the action that takes place in that first run. “I love that dog to pieces,” adds Christy. Although Blanca is deaf, she is learning to react to handlers with hand signals. Blanca is just one of many dogs and cats available for adoption at EASEL.

EASEL, located in a trailer next to the Ewing Animal Shelter, serves all of Mercer County as the region’s animal rescue. In addition to dog, cat, and kitten adoptions, EASEL has a strong Trap, Neuter, and Release Program (TNR), meaning they catch stray cats, neuter them so they cannot procreate, adopt many of their kittens and social adults, and release the others back. The goal is to eventually have the feral cat population age out. This is the most humane method of managing feral cat numbers, protecting public health, and reducing impact on wildlife.

By the beginning of November, 2014, EASEL had already spayed and neutered 87 dogs and 540 cats, as well as adopted out 72 dogs and 240 cats. This amazing task is done with an all-volunteer team effort. Christy adds “every bit of money we raise is put back into our programs. Every person involved with EASEL donates their time.” The volunteers do it all. There are volunteers who come on lunch break, or after school, to walk dogs. These dogs need lots of TLC and lots of exercise, and EASEL provides the training needed to handle the dogs.

The cats love the attention too. There are volunteers who regularly come to care for them. Those looking to adopt a cat will benefit from the time you spend with the cats. Take the cat out of its cage and into a visiting room, brush, play with, and groom the cat. Make sure their water is fresh and their litter is clean. Mostly give them love.

As EASEL runs of space, they depend on finding more people willing to foster dogs and cats. This would be like owning a pet, but without the lifetime commitment. Many animals do not do well in a shelter environment, but their personalities shine in a home. Teach the dog or cat how to be a member of a family. It is also a great way to test out if you are ready to make the commitment of owning a pet.

Another need is for people to man tables at the various social and adoption events, a fantastic opportunity for people who do not want to work directly with animals. Help EASEL to spread the word about the many dogs and cats waiting to be adopted and their many community programs such as TNR and microchipping.

All of the volunteer opportunities are listed on the EASEL website at www.easelnj.org.

Christy, a dog-lover living in Lawrenceville, adds “EASEL is an amazing group of people. It is a supportive and fun team effort.” Contact EASEL at 609-883-0540 to become part of that team. Every bit of help is appreciated.

EASEL, Box 5903, Lawrenceville 08638. 609-883-0540. www.easelnj.org.

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