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Hall of Famers

March 4, 2011

By Brianne Harrison Moore

A Shetland pony, a Chihuahua, an English bulldog, Tabby’s Place, and Greyhound Friends of New Jersey will be the newest inductees into the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association’s (NJVMA) Animal Hall of Fame. The animals and organizations will be celebrated during NJVMA’s annual induction luncheon, which will be held at the Hamilton Park Conference Center in Florham Park on March 6.

Samson, the eleven-year-old Shetland, has made his mark as a therapy horse, visiting nursing homes across the state, where he gives out kisses upon request. Samson was brought out of the field five years ago and was an immediate fit for his new role as comforter and companion to the elderly.

Kanga the Chihuahua was born with no front legs. She was adopted from a shelter and now visits hospitals and schools to serve as an inspiration and a reminder than anything is possible.

Tilly, a four-year-old English bulldog, is a frequent visitor to the Valerie Fund Center for Children with Cancer and Blood Disorders at the Monmouth County Medical Center. There, the laid-back bulldog entertains and distracts the children who are facing difficult treatments.

Tabby’s Place, in Ringoes, serves as an adoption center, hospital, and hospice for cats. The sanctuary currently houses 90 rescued cats, and they’ve found loving homes for more than 800 since Tabby’s Place was established. One hundred volunteers keep Tabby’s Place going, caring for and socializing the cats and helping them build trust and bond with humans.

Finally, NJVMA will honor Greyhound Friends of New Jersey’s Prison Program. The program, which was established in 2002, combines rehabilitative benefits for incarcerated youth with socialization and obedience training for rescued greyhounds. Twenty-two inmates at Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility are matched with 11 greyhounds that they are charged with training, socializing, and caring for. GFNJ has had 340 graduates since the program began.

This year marks the 16th time animals and organizations have been inducted into NJVMA’s Hall of Fame. Over the years, more than 80 animals have been inducted, all of whom celebrate and exemplify the all-important human-animal bond.

For more information, or to purchase tickets to the luncheon, visit njvma.org.

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