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YOUR MONEY: $2 Million from Animal Shelters from American Rescue Plan Funding

Camden Commissioners allocate $2 million to animal shelters


(Camden, NJ) – On Friday, the Board of Commissioners announced that $2 million worth of funds from the American Rescue Plan have been awarded to four Camden County animal



“The pandemic truly impacted every aspect of our communities, including our animal shelters,” said Commissioner Jonathan Young, liaison to the Camden County Animal Shelter. “These funds are critically important for our animal shelters to keep operations up and running to provide the best quality of life for the animals they care for. Our hope is that these funds provide some relief for our shelters that serve such an important purpose here in Camden County.”


The allocations are as follows:

  • Animal Welfare Association, $472,319.50
  • Friends of Camden Shelter (DBA Animal Adoption Center,) $506,510.00
  • Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center, $717,909.00
  • Voorhees Animal Orphanage, Inc., $254,875.51


During the first months of the pandemic, it is estimated that nearly 1 in 5 American households acquired a dog or a cat. Now that the public health emergency is ending next month, and many people have returned to working full time, animal shelters across the country are seeing a wave of returned animals.


“We have definitely seen a trend in returned pets since the pandemic has begun to ease,” Young said. “It is an unfortunate situation that we are facing but with resources, such as these funds, we can better prepare our shelters to care for the dogs, cats and other animals that are being surrendered due to these circumstances.”

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021, to provide funding for COVID-19 response and recovery.


“The American Rescue Plan continues to deliver for South Jersey’s communities, including for our furry friends. This critical funding ensures that Camden County’s shelters have the tools and resources they need to provide the best possible care for the animals being surrendered,” Congressman Donald Norcross said. “I will continue to fight to bring federal dollars back to South Jersey’s communities.”


This allocation has been part of more than $60 million in federal funds the Board of Commissioners has made available to different hard-hit sectors of the community, including more than $35 million alone in rental assistance, grants for nonprofit organizations and small businesses.


Laura Houston talked about the need for this money for all of the shelters in Camden County’s animal alliance.


"AWA is grateful to the Camden County Commissioners for both their support and the Covid relief grant,” Houston said. “Funding from this program will go a long way to us help us recover from the impacts of Covid and allow us to make great strides in the efforts to provide services for the community and find forever homes for pets in need."