Ridgewood Moving Services (Ridgewood Movers) is constantly looking for ways to support the community. A couple of weeks ago, Cindy Myer went to visit the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge (RBAI) to find out more about the organization and the animals they save. When Trish McAleer, executive director of RBAI, told Cindy about her need for items like blankets for the animals, Cindy realized that she could ask her clients to donate them if they no longer need them after they move. Even though we’re a moving company, situations like this prove that there are plenty of ways that we can help others!

When I heard about this, I became fascinated with RBAI. I wanted to know more about the organization and Trish herself, so I interviewed her for our readers to see! I’m glad I did it too because it gave me the chance to learn about such an amazing non-profit organization. Check it out:

Explain a little bit about yourself and your background.

“My name is Trish McAleer. Before I was here at Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge I spent ten years working to provide cancer support and research for a rare cancer called Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor or GIST with the Life Raft Group. It was an amazing experience and I met so many beyond courageous people that still inspire me today.”

What is the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge?

“Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge or RBARI as many of our neighbors call us is a no-kill, 501c3 Animal Refuge and Adoption Center supporting animals in need since 1978. We help approximately 1,000 dogs and cats a year through finding them loving forever homes or helping them get to other rescue groups that can.”

What do you for the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge?

“I am the executive director at RBARI meaning that I do whatever it takes to forward our mission and save as many animals as we can.”


Why did you decide to work for the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge?

“I’ve never met an animal I didn’t like and I am so honored to be able to contribute to the safety of so many. It’s a long story but my past interactions with other shelters really lit a fire in my belly about the need for experienced management and someone who could really communicate the mission. When this position opened I researched, met the staff and got to know the organization better until I knew without a doubt it was a safe loving place for our shelter pets. And with that foundation I knew that I could put my skills to use to get us to the point of saving even more animals and making an educational impact on our surrounding communities.”

Do you have a favorite thing about working there or a touching moment you’d like to share?

“There are more touching moments than I can count. I meet a new furry friend that touches my heart almost every day. Just last week I had taken home a foster dog. He was going to one of our rescue partners because the shelter was full. In the one night I spent with this little friend he must have woken me up 30 times to cuddle. He was so happy to have affection after what clearly had been so long. As I was petting him I ran my hand down his spine and I felt every single bone. And it struck me how pure his little heart is to still trust us after someone clearly casted him aside. Rescue is never easy but at RBARI once a dog or cat comes to us they are safe and that’s an amazing gift to be able to give to such deserving little souls.”

Is the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge accepting any kind of donations? How can people get involved?

“We’re always accepting donations! You can donate funds or you can donate items that are on our wish list. We are always in need and there’s never a shortage of animals who need our help so the support we get really sustains our efforts. We also heavily rely on our volunteers for help – that includes dog walking, cat socialization, hosting food drives, helping us fundraise, cleaning and representing us at events.”

Is there anything else that you would like to add that hasn’t been mentioned?

“I’d like to invite anyone interested in opening up their family to a new pet to come down and meet our adoptables! They are overwhelmingly cute!”

Thanks for the interview Trish! If you would like to meet the pets at RBAI, visit them at 2 Shelter Lane, Oakland, NJ 07436. You can adopt an animal on Tuesday & Thursday (1pm-8pm), Wednesday (12pm-4pm), and Saturday & Sunday (11am-4pm). Thanks for reading everyone! Check the blog next week for another post.