RINGWOOD, N.J. – The house in Ringwood has a kitchen, living room, a couple of bedrooms and a huge grassy backyard with mountain views and trails meandering into the woods.
It would make a nice home for any family, but thanks to some creative thinking, its newest occupants are of the furry, four-legged variety.
The building on Margaret King Avenue, and over an acre of land that surrounds it, is the new home of the Bloomingdale Regional Animal Shelter Society (BASS).
“It is perfect for us,” Ellen Ribitzki, kennel manager for BASS, told Daily Voice during a recent tour of the space.
“Instead of a shelter, we have them in a home environment, so they can relax,” she said, as she took a dog out to play in the yard.
The Ringwood resident said dogs can learn house manors while living at the space. And when potential adopters come to visit, “you can almost picture the dog being in your home.”
Because of frequent flooding at its previous building in downtown Bloomingdale, BASS was on the lookout for a new home for its 20-year-old organization. That’s when Ribitzki came across the Ringwood building and saw it was about to go into foreclosure.
The property happened to be zoned for both residential and commercial use, and be set far from any other homes, making it the ideal place to foster animals, Ribitzki said. With the backing of the borough, BASS made its new home a reality last month.
About 10 dogs can stay at the home at any given time – but if BASS has its way, no one dog will be there for very long.
“The idea is not to have animals come in and hold them for two years,” Ribitzki said. “The idea is to bring them in and get them adopted.”
The building is located at 260 Margaret King Ave. It is open from 8 to 9 a.m. and from 8 to 9 p.m. every day, with additional hours from 3 to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
For more information, visit www.BASS.Petfinder.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The organization is always looking for volunteers.
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