ENGLEWOOD, N.J. -- Save the Animals Rescue Team II is once again selling tickets for its yearly raffle, to help offset vet bills, food and shelter for animals in its care.
START II is an all-volunteer, nonprofit, no-kill animal rescue group in Englewood. It partners with three local PetSmart stores, for animal adoption events.
Tickets are $1 each, sold in books of 10 or individually. There are three winners: a $500 first-place prize, $400 for second and $300 for third, all paid with a TD Bank gift card.
The drawing will be Saturday, Dec.10, at 1:30 p.m., at the Paramus PetSmart, 60 Route 17 North. You don't have to be present to win.
"This is a major fundraiser for us, in order to maintain our shelter, give proper medical attention and food to the animals we take in," said fundraising coordinator Mary Ann Martin, of River Vale.
She explained that the rescue group pulls animals from high-kill shelters in New Jersey, and from the south when there's room or it's called for help.
In 2015, START II took in 812 animals and adopted out 810. It's "a constant revolving door, taking in animals that would have been euthanized at a town- or state-run shelter, and caring for them until they are adopted to a good home," Martin said.
And those costs add up.
"I have spoken to many people who presume that local vets give us discounted prices, but normally that does not happen," Martin told Daily Voice. "They are a business, like any other.
"Save The Animals Rescue Team II relies solely on the help the public and businesses. A small token of any amount can make a huge difference in the lives of homeless animals in our community."
To buy tickets, contact Martin at Maybird50@verizon.net or 201-745-7936.
You can also donate to START II online, here. That page also includes a wishlist of items like pet carriers, pet food, paper towels and more, or folks can shop through an Amazon.com wishlist.
Martin also explained that some local employees set up donation corners at their offices or work sites, reaching out to their coworkers. "This charitable giving makes a huge difference," Martin said, "and once these folks perform these simple acts, they tend to continue their involvement."
Volunteers are also always welcome, at the Englewood shelter, PetSmart Wayne, PetSmart Paramus and PetSmart Nanuet. Volunteer tasks vary, from working cleaning cages, dog walking and cat socialization, to working on adoptions, fostering animals and fundraising. Volunteers can even help with marketing and graphic arts.