RIVER VALE, N.J. — Lisa Adamek of River Vale couldn't help think about her recently-deceased pet chihuahua, Nikita, as she read a Facebook post about a pitbull named Sasha who was about to be euthanized at an overcrowded inner-city animal control shelter
"I knew I had to do something," the special education teacher said.
Adamek contacted a local animal rescue and was able to save the dog's life. She eventually began volunteering at the rescue, eventually working her way up to vice president.
Adamek wanted to do more, so last September filed for nonprofit status for her own rescue organization — Good Karma Dog Rescue .
"I launched it with the idea that adopting a dog should be a community experience," she said. "I don't want you to just adopt a dog from me. I want to provide you with support and education on how to raise your dog to be part of your family."
Adamek leverages a very large community to run her rescue. Her partner, Barbara Blackman, is a veterinary technician who lives in Voorhees. The two of them work with foster homes spread between New York City and Philadelphia.
"Being a foster-based rescue allows us to train dogs in real homes as if they were already in a family," said Adamek,who teaches at Woodside School in River Vale. "It also allows us to really get to know the dog so we can match them up better."
Good Karma Dog Rescue has found homes for more than 50 canines.
"We often hear back from the families where we placed dogs telling us how much they love them and how happy they are," Adamek said. "It's very satisfying to know we made such a difference in a dog's life."
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