Jen Pecoraro, Stockton University
Throughout my life, I have had many pets, ranging from tiny animals such as fish and Guinea pigs to bigger ones like cats and dogs. My pets have all impacted me in some way, whether it be big or small, and I am sure many people can relate. Every pet I owned will always have a special place in my heart. Throughout their short lives, animals have a way of helping people through the good and sometimes bad times in their lives. They are a constant friend, giving support and unconditional love when you need it most. I am huge believer in the “adopt, don’t shop,” concept. I think it is extremely important to rescue animals from shelters. It is unfortunate that these animals were left by those that were supposed to love them. In many places if older pets do not get adopted the shelters end up putting them down to make room for younger strays. There is an unbelievable amount of dogs and cats lost in places such as these that may not have known what it felt like to be loved.
There are many people in the world who have similar beliefs as I do, and one of them, Amanda Mamagona, decided to make a change and do something to help these poor, defenseless animals. On July 21st, 2015, Amanda took her love and passion for animals and transformed it into an amazing non-profit organization, called Mama’s-gona Rescue. Although it began just a few years ago, the unofficial start to this organization can be dated back to when Amanda was little. Whenever she would find stray animals on the street, she would take them home and care for them, hoping to save their lives. In the last two years, Amanda and her team have saved countless animals from shelter kill lists, from roaming feral around the streets, and from neglectful owners.
When volunteers of Mama’s-gona Rescue find a stray, they foster the abandoned animals in their own homes and train them to be around a family environment, interacting with children and adults of all ages. They also make sure the pet is spayed/neutered, dewormed (if necessary), and that all their shots are up to date, so they can get ready to join their forever home. When they believe they have found an animal’s new home, the volunteers conduct house inspections and issue waivers allowing the rescue team to do well visits. With these measures, Mama’s-gona Rescue can insure that the pets are put into safe homes and are being treated fairly after they are adopted.
Over the years, Mama’s-gona Rescue has developed a working relationship with the local animal control departments, the SPCA, the Popcorn Park Zoo, and other animal rescue organizations who all believe in the same end result: giving these animals a second chance. Mama’s-gona Rescue has been able to create a large network of fosters homes located primarily on the east coast, from New Jersey to South Carolina. The volunteers involved with the animals all have diverse professional backgrounds in fields such as Paramedic, ER nurse, Attorney Secretary, Assistant Fire Chief, Veteran, and Banker.
Unfortunately because of veterinary costs and budget restraints, this non-profit organization has to rely mostly on fundraisers and adoption events, such as their popular adopt-a-thon, to help them raise money to care for the animals while they are with them. Luckily, Mama’s-gona Rescue has been accepted to participate in the State of New Jersey spay and neuter program which offers discounted spay and neuter rates to adopted rescue dogs, helping with their budget. The monetary donations they receive go towards paying the necessary pet bills and for any unforeseen emergencies that they may encounter along the way. Mama’s gona Rescue also has received tangible gifts such as dog treats, blankets, crates, and food that have helped improve the lives of the animals in their care.
Most recently, Mama’s-gona Rescue has also partnered with a wildlife rehabilitator and is working under their license to rehabilitate baby squirrels. After baby squirrels are found in the wild, they are brought to Mama’s-gona Rescue and are given proper nutrition and care until they are eventually released back into their natural environment. On average, Mama’s-gona Rescue rehabilitates 30 to 50 squirrels in a season.
If you are interested in adopting from Mama’s-gona Rescue or applying to become a foster home, please check out their Facebook page where they post pictures of the animals in need of permanent and temporary homes and information about the different adoption events they are hosting across the coast.
Click Here if you would like to donate to this compassionate organization that devotes the entire lives to helping neglected and abandoned animals find loving, forever homes.