rbariflooding1“For years the Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge has been our workplace, our life, our heart and our home away from home, but more importantly it has been the temporary home and sanctuary to hundreds of starved, abandoned, abused, neglected and simply just forgotten animals. Today as we walked through the empty kennel and water drenched halls, it broke our hearts to see our shelter, our refuge and sanctuary to so many animals that so desperately need us, in a shambles, devoid of any life.”
The Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, our local no-kill animal shelter, fully reopened August 26. The shelter experienced two separate flooding events, forcing its closure on August 16.
Damage to a water main pipe behind the building in Oakland flooded the shelter on August 16. The animals were evacuated the same afternoon. Over 50 cats were placed with staff and volunteers, while over 30 dogs went to the homes of staff as well as vets in Franklin Lakes, Ramapo Valley, and Pompton Lakes.
While clean-up efforts were underway the next day, the water main pipe broke once more, causing a further 8” of flooding. Damage over the two days was extensive, with most of the supplies and equipment on the first floor destroyed. Staff and volunteers have worked hard on clean up, and the shelter reopened for animal adoptions on August 26th.

As the news of the disaster spread offers of help have been amazing, according to RBARI’s Assistant Director Lee Ann Ryerson. But the shelter remains in desperate need. Supplies such as dry dog food (Nutro, Science Diet, Purina One/Pro Plan) Puppy food (Nutro, Science Diet, Pedigree), Kuranda dog beds, dog toys, bedding, sheets, towels, paper towels and bleach can be dropped off at the Shelter. Gift Cards (Petco, Petsmart, Shop Rite, Staples) can be sent to RBARI, 2 Shelter Lane, Oakland, NJ 07436. Donations can also be made online at www.rbari.org.