West Orange Animal Welfare League

Our Complete Pet List

The links to individual groups of animals below are temporarily not working. Please use the Complete Pet List link above.

Dogs Only .....or..... Cats Only

Rabbits ....or.... Reptiles ....or.... Small & Furry ....or.... Birds

FEATURED PET...................

Let us introduce you to ..........CASPER, our special needs dog.

Casper’s story started last March. ..........A local Brownie Troop came to visit the shelter bringing goodies for the animals. They fell in love with a little white dog, and named him "Casper". Casper had just come in, and he was afraid of all the strange noises and smells at the facility, and everyone’s heart went out to him. Casper just curled up in a corner and tried to hide. It turned out Casper was afraid of everything! He was afraid of new people, of new places, of new sounds. Even sunlight made Casper want to run and hide. And yet, Casper was such a sweet, gentle dog. He knew nothing about a collar or a leash, and he would just stand there and tremble. We could pick him up and carry him anywhere, but once his feet were on the ground again he was afraid to move. If only Casper could talk and tell us about his past. We began to come up with a theory. Had Casper been neglected and ignored as a puppy and shut away to live his life all alone in a dark basement? We had to teach Casper how wonderful life could be.

Along came Maria, a long time WOAWL volunteer. Since she was always home she would have plenty of time and patience to work with Casper. She offered to foster Casper in her home.

Casper was definitely a challenge. He wasn’t housebroken, and he was afraid to even step outside. Even her fenced yard was a scary place for him. And a leash……. Well, how can you housebreak a dog that was afraid of walking on a leash. And then there was the sun….. In the beginning Casper would only go outside very early in the morning or very late in the afternoon when the sun wasn’t high, or on cloudy days. Since he’s white we had his eyes and skin checked to see if sunlight actually hurt him, but the vet could find nothing wrong. So Maria began her next challenge and started to take him out when the sun was nice and bright. It took some time, but you can see by his photo it worked. Casper began to enjoy playing in her yard whenever he had the chance, and they both began taking long walks during daylight hours. Casper had started to trust. But something still wasn’t right. Casper wasn’t just timid, it seemed he didn’t know how to be a dog. That’s when Sofie came into the picture. Sofie was another stray that needed a home, and Maria once again volunteered to foster. Sofie was very well adjusted, and perhaps she could teach Casper a thing or two about proper doggie things. It worked! Casper started to learn how to be a dog! He no longer glued himself to Maria, and he enjoyed the company of his new four legged friend.

Casper was special and we all loved him dearly. Eventually he was adopted by another WOAWL volunteer, and everything worked perfectly …..for a while. He was in a home with two other dogs, a cat, and a wonderful young boy that became his best friend. Casper must have thought he was in heaven. Unfortunately, when school started his little boy was gone during the day, the family was working full time, and no one was home. The other animals were nice, but it wasn’t the same to Casper. Casper needed his special person! He couldn’t deal with the stress of being alone all day, so back to Maria’s he went.

Now we know more about Casper than ever before. He’s good with children (his little boy was 7), he’s good with other dogs, and he’s good with cats. From Maria he’s learned how wonderful it is to go for walks on a leash, and how much fun it is to run and play outside. He’s learned to enjoy sleeping in a sunny spot, and rolling in the grass. He’s also learned household manners and Maria tells us he’s housebroken. ……But he’ll always be a special needs dog. Casper needs to feel secure so he needs a home where someone is usually home, and he definitely needs a fenced yard to play in. Those two simple things would make Casper so very happy.


These “Christmas in Manhattan” photos show how (once he feels safe and secure) what a wonderful pet Casper will make some lucky family…….

……If only Maria could keep Casper! But she’ll be moving out of the country soon, so it’s imperative we find a suitable home for Casper ASAP. (Sofie’s already been adopted.)

Take a look at Casper’s photo for a preview of our little white 'friendly ghost', and then give us a call to see him in person. Casper needs a home desperately!


....To see photos of some of the other wonderful cats and dogs available for adoption.......Just click on our links above....


The WOAWL is not limited to the placement of dogs and cats. Occasionally we have other small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, etc. .... Click on the links (above) to see if any are available now.

HAPPY TAILS.............

Click here to see some of the animals that have been adopted and are happy in their new homes.


................OPEN HOUSE PET ADOPTION DAYS............... are the first and third Saturdays of each month - 11AM to 3PM at the township's animal control facility - 311 Watchung Avenue, West Orange. (See below for directions.) Dogs, Cats, Kittens, Puppies. Sometimes even rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, and more. A beautiful selection of animals. Come and adopt. They all need loving homes. Click on "Our Pet List" to see photos. ...Please note: The WOAWL does not place pets out of state.


The West Orange Animal Welfare League (WOAWL) is an entirely volunteer, nonprofit organization founded in 1977 (incorporated in 1978) by Mildred Kowaloff, who was very upset that impounded animals were being destroyed needlessly - given no chance at all. Her goal was to give them a chance at life through an adoption program. At that time West Orange was without an animal shelter. We are pleased to say the township's animal control facility was built in 1995. (Note: The WOAWL is totally separate from and should not be confused with the animal control facility which is owned, controlled, managed and staffed by the Township of West Orange under the control of the Health Department.)

Although our township has its own facility, animals' lives are still in jeopardy. Each stray impounded is guaranteed only the 7 day holding period mandated by law. (Under the law, animals surrendered by their owners to shelters in NJ can be destroyed immediately with no required waiting period.) After the 7 days, the WOAWL steps in to provide medical care needed, including general health exams and vaccinations; and when necessary boards or places the animal in a foster home until a permanent home is found.

The WOAWL is not limited to just dogs and cats, nor are we limited to West Orange. It is not unusual for us to rescue birds, rabbits, ferrets, snakes or an occasional guinea pig, hamster or gerbil. We also help pet owners who can no longer keep their beloved pet but would have no other alternative but to have the animal euthanized.

The goal of the WOAWL is to avoid needless killing of abandoned and unwanted animals by finding them homes through the adoption process; and by encouraging spaying and neutering.


Minimal adoption fees are charged to help defray the cost of caring for the animals. Cats and kittens start at $25.00. Purebreds $50 and up. Dogs start at $45.00 and puppies $55.00. Purebreds $80 and up. ........Please note: The WOAWL does not place pets out of state.


Dog Leashes & Collars. Expandable or Break-Away Cat Collars. Non-Clumping, Clay Cat Litter. Canned Dog Food. Canned and Dry Cat Food. Jars of Baby Food (meat only, please). Can Openers. Dog & Cat Toys. Towels and Blankets (no electric or comforters, please). Heating Pads. Laundry and Dish Detergents. Fabric Softener Sheets. Bleach. Paper Towels. Liquid Anti-Bacterial Soaps. Computer/Photocopy Paper. .........And we always need Money (of course).


The West Orange Animal Welfare League (WOAWL) is a totally volunteer, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. We welcome new volunteers (over 18 years old, please) and donations to help us continue our work rescuing stray and abandoned pets. Contributions are deductible for tax purposes as allowed by law. ... Please make all checks payable to the West Orange Animal Welfare League (WOAWL), and mail to: WOAWL, P.O. Box 232, West Orange, NJ 07052 .....Thank you, thank, you, thank you!!!

There are many volunteer opportunities available which would allow working with animals or applying your personal area of expertise to an important cause. Volunteers are needed to work at adoption days, transport animals to the vet, socialize animals, and become foster families. Some of the volunteer opportunities that do not require contact with animals are: fundraising, public outreach and education, graphic design, printing, special event coordination, legal counseling and more.


Come visit us during an 'Open House' Adoption Day at the township's animal control facility - 311 Watchung Avenue, West Orange, NJ. Our Adoption Days are the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month from 11AM to 3PM. Animals can also be seen Monday through Friday by appointment. Call us (973) 736-8689.


Route 280 runs through West Orange. Garden State Parkway exit 145 to Rt 280 West.

From Rt 280 West take Exit #10 - Northfield Avenue. (Follow Edison Museum Signs to Main & Lakeside.) Make a right onto Northfield and take to the end. Left onto Main Street. Go through two traffic lights to Lakeside. Right onto Lakeside. First left is Watchung. The animal control facility is on the left.

From Rt 280 East take Exit #9 - Mt. Pleasant Avenue. (Follow Edison Museum Signs to Main & Lakeside.) Make a left onto Mt. Pleasant to Main Street (two lights). Left onto Main Street. Take Main through one traffic light to Lakeside. Right onto Lakeside. First left is Watchung. The animal control facility is on the left.
P.O. Box 232 (mailing address)
311 Watchung Avenue (township's animal control facility)
West Orange, NJ 07052
Phone: 973-736-8689 - voice mail only
Email: woawl01@aol.com

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