FOWA Rescue is an all volunteer 501(c)(3) (nonprofit) rescue organization based in Wayne, NJ serving the North Jersey area, dedicated to the welfare, sheltering and placement of homeless animals. We are committed to educating the public about the humane treatment of animals, preventing animal cruelty and overpopulation and promoting animal welfare.
To end euthanasia of adoptable animals so one day, no healthy companion animal will be euthanized for lack of a home, space, or compassion.
President – Donna Vanderhook
I have always been a huge animal lover, finding stray cats and dogs as a youngster and bringing them home with me. I started volunteering with FOWA over 30 years ago by fostering mother cats and kittens. There was a need to get these very fragile babies out of the shelter and into a disease free environment. I have been President of FOWA since 1994 and now run our Foster Cat Program that takes in approx. 300 – 400 cats and kittens a year and then adopting them into loving homes. I am passionate about rescue and especially about the stray cat epidemic and now get to share that passion with great friends, family and the volunteers of FOWA Rescue.
Vice President – Shirley Pallito
Shirley first got involved with FOWA back in December of 2000 when she attended the Tree of Love ceremony to honor Phantom, her beloved dog, which inspired her to help other animals in need. She started off as a dog walker and knew she wanted to do more so she became our Foster Dog Coordinator and Vice President . Since then Shirley, who lives with her husband Mark and their two dogs, Gunner and Hannah, have been working tirelessly to help homeless dogs by raising funds, increasing awareness and growing the foster program. Affectionately known as Pallitoville, their home has welcomed dozens of foster dogs as they start their new lives. Shirley’s passion for dogs and appreciation for volunteers are what make the FOWA dog foster program so successful!
Treasurer – Jean Cadorette
Jean has been involved with FOWA since 2005 when she was approached to fill in for the interim as Treasurer until the next election year. Being a big animal lover and accounting major, she decided that she could have the best of both worlds caring for animals and help maintain the finances that support them. She decided to run for a permanent Board position of which she has held as Treasurer since she joined FOWA. She participates on many fundraising events throughout the year with a major invovlement in the annual Tricky Tray which is FOWA’s largest fundraising event every year bringing in almost 600 attendees and thousands of dollars to help care for the animals. Jean is mom to her black cat Mitsou and dog Maya, both of whom she adopted from FOWA.
Secretary – Margaret Carius
Margaret has been a volunteer with FOWA for several years and helps coordinate adoption events and trap/neuter/return of feral cats.
Director – Jodi Adel
In 2001 I was looking to adopt a dog and in the process, became a Fowa volunteer. Over the years I have fostered hundreds of cats, kittens, dogs and puppies and to me, the most rewarding part of rescue is when I take in a scared, sick and confused animal, help them heal and find a forever home.
Director – Joy Fregonese
Joy has been with Fowa since 2010 and on the board since 2012. Joy and her husband Lou have adopted 6 FOWA cats. Joy helps with fundraising and the volunteer and cat adoption applications.
Director – Mary Sepede
Mary joined FOWA in 1992 and assisted with the objective to operate the Wayne Animal Shelter. I began that year fostering cats, where the need was greatest. Once FOWA took over the operation of the shelter, although my plan was to work with dogs, I was directed to the care of cats and kittens. During the 13 years at the shelter I cleaned cages, medicated and socialized cats and kittens and functioned as an adoption counselor. I also fostered sick kittens, who could not be cared for in the shelter. When it was suggested that FOWA start a cat socialization program I volunteered to run it. When FOWA formed a board I was appointed as a board member. Due to my background with children I saw the need for education in the proper care of animals and formed the humane education program. When the shelter had an overabundance of cats and kittens, I worked with another volunteer to seek out reputable sanctuaries, removing many cats to safety. When calls came in to the shelter for cat rescue, I began to help with TNR. In addition to work at the shelter I also worked frequently at outside adoptions and events. I have also assisted with most fundraising events, mainly the annual Tricky Tray.
Web Master – Aronson Hecht Agency
Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.”― Sherry Anderson
We could not save so many lives without our amazing volunteers. Every cat and dog that comes into our foster program has the volunteers of FOWA Rescue supporting them. It can be fosters, grant writers , photographers,graphic artist , fundraising , adoption counselors , out side adoption events . The list of help is endless and our volunteers step up to the challenge time and time again. We are beyond thankful for all our volunteers. If you would like to be part of the FOWA Rescue family fill out an application.