Skylark Fine Diner & Lounge Community Day

UPDATE: The event was a huge success and over $300 was raised! Skylark will have the official total for us soon. Thank you to everyone who enjoyed some yummy eats & drinks for us!

Join us ALL DAY for a fund raiser at the Skylark Fine Diner & Lounge in Edison, NJ on Thursday, February 26, 2015. Dine and/or drink from 11am – 9pm + present the voucher below = 20% donation by the Skylark Diner (based on pre-tax and pre-tip total).

You eat, they donate!

Skylark Diner - Community Event Voucher Karma Cat

Want to share with family, friends and coworkers? We hope you do – the more the merrier!!

Skylark Diner - Community Event Voucher Karma Cat_fullpagelowres

The Year in Review: 2014

The end of 2014 marks the end of 5 calendar years for Karma Cat + Zen Dog! My, how time flies. Sometimes we feel that we haven’t done enough, other times we wonder where we found the time, money and volunteers to pull off mini miracles.

Like any year, 2014 had its ups and downs. We suffered through a very tough case of FIP with Rudy. And we heard from several of our past adopters that their Karma Cat Alumni was taken too soon by this awful disease. Having friends throughout many rescue groups, the loss to FIP was not felt only by us – it was a really tough year.

We rescued 3 dogs this year! Seems like a small number but all three dogs needed a bit of special care either medically or behaviorally. It’s wonderful that all are in amazing homes already.

We learned more than we ever wanted to know about massive mammary gland infections during Courtney’s Ordeal.

We rescued many litters of kittens; some in better condition than others. Our last round of “Newark Kittens” are still fighting some medical issues (eye issues and intestinal troubles) but we know that PhilR, Thurman and SandyKit are in the best hands possible in their foster homes.



We opened our own space to adoptable cats, dubbed “CatQuarters“! It’s still a work in progress but we are moving our office functions there and we already have office helper cats!

This fall, we rescued the “9 Lives from Helmetta” after the Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter was raided and quarantined. The fate of the shelter is still unknown. Several of the kittens we rescued came with ringworm (fungus) but they will be available for adoption soon.


Owen has one new knee and he will get his second knee this January. He’s being a good boy for recovery so we rewarded him with his own FaceBook page: Knees 4 Owen.

Santa asked for our help with a special Christmas Day adoption delivery: Operation Santa’s Helper.

And at the 11th hour, we TNR’ed 9 cats and rescued 3 kittens from a local feral cat colony! Only one more cat to “get” there and it’s a complete success! Read more about TNR from our volunteer, Erin on the blog: TNR, You Can Do It!

We adopted out 111 cats and 3 dogs in 2014!

2014 adoptions

We continue to care for 28 cats and kittens.

2015 animals

And in case those cute little word diagrams don’t satisfy your need for adorable animal pictures, here’s a slideshow of everyone adopted and still available for adoption as of 12/31/14!

Since inception, we have found homes for 610 animals! Everything we do is for them – and everything you do for us is for them! Thank you so much for ALL your support this year. We look forward to a wonderful 2015 as well as another 5 amazing years.

Making Spirits Bright

TNR: You Can Do It!

How to accomplish your own TNR project!

Trap-Neuter-Return, commonly referred to as “TNR,” is the only humane and effective method at controlling feral cat population growth. If you see a colony of cats that you wish to help, it is important that not only food and shelter are provided but also that the population is controlled. Neighborhood Cats has a great description on the many benefits of TNR:

Step 1: Scope out your area & count your cats. This may take a few visits to the area where the cats are living. Be sure to get a visual on if they are already ear tipped. This would indicate they have already been TNR’d


Step 2: Determine if the cats are being cared for. If you see food and shelters, most likely there is a kind person who is doing their best to assist the colony.

Step 3: Make friends with the caretakers & feeders. You may want to leave a note with an email address if you do not see them feeding the cats. Offer your assistance with trapping and fixing the cats. Set aside or fund raise the money you will need for the surgeries and vaccinations.

Step 4: Plan for the date you will be trapping, make your low-cost spay/neuter clinic appointment(s), set up your pre/post trapping staging area (basements or garages are best) and request the cats are not fed the day before to ensure they are hungry enough to enter the traps.

Step 5: Get there early! Have: 1. One trap for each cat.  2. A cover for each trap. 3. Plenty of newspaper to line the bottom of the traps. ( line it the short way so you don’t have to pull as much out from under the cat when cleaning) 4. Stinky hot chicken or similar food that will encourage the cats to enter the traps. ( Heat the cans right on your car vent ) 5. Plastic and paper lining to protect your vehicle seats. 6. Have a book and some coffee, because it is a waiting game :)

IMGP0518Step 6: Set up the traps. This can be done in an area the cats are normally fed. You will want to partially cover each trap, so the cats still able to see out, but you can quickly cover the trap once the cat has set it off. Leave a small trail of food to entice the cat, but the majority of the food should be past the trap release so the cat goes all the way in and engages the door to shut. You want to be close by to hear the trap go off because the cat will most likely panic, they should calm down once the trap is covered. Move the trapped cat away from the remaining traps and in to your vehicle that will be used for transportation.


Step 7: Transport the cats to your local low cost spay and neuter location. Ideally the cats are recovered in a basement or garage before and after the surgery. This will allow you time to trap the cats prior to your appointment (drop off is usually in the morning and the cat should not eat past midnight the night before if an adult). This will also allow for the cats to recover without hindering the healing process in the first couple days. If you don’t have the capability of recovering the cats, some clinics will allow the cats to stay for an additional fee.


Step 8: Release the cats back at the location they were trapped in. Ensure they continue to receive regular food/ water, and that they have sufficient shelter to protect from predators and weather.

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Learn more about you local shelter & Legislation 

It is also worth noting that unfortunately many townships and states do not support TNR. This is due to lack of education, and misguided information on community cats and the many benefits of Trap-Neuter-Return. Your town may be enforcing trap and euthanize, and feeding bans. You can become a voice of change by speaking out about the benefits of TNR, being part of the No Kill movement.

Check out your local TNR workshops and networking opportunities !

Our Holiday TNR story : 

We decided to do our own TNR project last week after rescuing the adorable T Hanks the day before Thanksgiving. We found out he was part of a colony that included his two litter mates and wanted to help them out too. Nine adult cats were TNR’ed and his two siblings were captured for socialization! Thank you to all that have donated lately – YOU make projects like this possible!


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We will continue wonderful projects like this in the 2015 year with the help from your donations, and our wonderful volunteers!

Operation: Santa’s Helper!

We all know that Santa is amazing and his elves are rock stars. But, occasionally, even Santa and the elves need a little assistance. We were thrilled to be asked to help with a very special Christmas morning delivery on behalf of Mr. Claus!

A special little girl asked for a kitten this year. And not just any kitten – it was a kitten that we had rescued!


But Santa knew that it would be cruel to leave this kitten in a carrier under the tree all night. So, he asked for our help and deputized one of our volunteers as an honorary elf.

Freyja was prepped and ready to travel on Christmas morning. She was whisked away to her new home* in a brand new carrier.

For her safety, our honorary elf kept a close watch on the reveal and even captured some video footage.

You see, there really IS a Santa Claus and he definitely supports animal rescues and shelters! Adopt, don’t shop – local groups (and their honorary elves) are happy to work with you.

*Santa also made sure that the family met his standards for an adopting family.

9 Lives From Helmetta

On 11/13/14 at approximately 9am, the NJSPCA raided the Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter after months of reports from volunteers and employees. Suspected abuse to many of the animals inside this new, large facility that served 21 towns.

Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter

On 11/13/14 at approximately 10pm, one veterinarian and a few vet techs were allowed into the shelter to clean and feed the animals. From their reports, it appeared that food and even water had not been given to the animals for some time. Cats were FRANTIC for food. On top of that, there was no food to be found in the shelter. An emergency plea was sent out to local rescue groups and animal advocates to please bring food to the shelter. At 3am, the vet and techs were ushered out of the facility – but not before every animal was fed and their cage cleaned.

Cat at Helmetta Shelter

The NJSPCA along with the Dept. of Health took over on the morning of 11/15/14 and they have made sure the animals were cared for during this political and emotional battle for the shelter.

On 11/23/14 we were approved to pull animals from the shelter and our appointment was set for the morning of 11/24/14. We had no idea what we really would see but we assembled our carriers and we were there ready to save.

We were supposed to take 7 cats but our director “accidentally” picked 9 … no turning back now! Good thing we know better and had extra carriers in the cars.

Meet the 9 Lives From Helmetta!
Dot, Bette, Owen, Katniss, Primrose, Peeta, Gale, Finnick and Cinna!

9Lives_KCZDEveryone is doing well in their foster homes – already FeLV/FIV tested and vaccinated.

Owen is an amazingly lovable cat, chirping and purring for his foster mom. Fortunately for Owen, he was rescued by Karma Cat Zen Dog from the Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter in Helmetta, NJ where he had been since July. He spent those five months with no medical care or even an examination until the NJSPCA took control of the shelter.

As you can see from the video, we knew something was wrong with Owen. Our veterinarian determined he has Grade IV luxating patellas (his kneecaps are on backwards!) which makes life very difficult for poor Owen.

The good news??? It’s easily fixable! With your help, that is….every dollar counts and Owen will be an even happier guy when his mobility is improved and he can find his forever home!

Please donate – every $1 helps!

Best Gifts for Animal Lovers 2014

In 2013, we created our list of gifts for animals lovers. By popular demand, here’s our list for 2014!

Google “gifts for pets” and you get about 14 million hits. “Gifts for pet lovers” returns about 3 million hits. A little better, but still a daunting search when you’re looking for the perfect gift for that special pet or animal lover in your life. To make it a little easier, we’ve scoured our favorite magazines, websites, and stores to help you pick out the perfect present. There’s a little bit of everything on this list – and a lot more items on our Pinterest boards HERE and HERE!

Don’t forget to shop via AmazonSmile, iGive or GoodShop and choose Karma Cat + Zen Dog as your charity of choice!

1. For the Canine Tech Lover: iFetch


iFetch throws a ball a variable distance when it is placed in the funnel by the dog or person. Pick up this gadget HERE.

2. For the Canine Tech Lover: PetSafe Auto Trainer


The AutoTrainer teaches your dog not to bark by rewarding quiet time. The collar detects when your dog is barking using patented dual-detection technology, so only your dog’s barks are recorded by the collar. When your dog isn’t barking, he gets rewarded with treats or kibble from the food dispenser. Purchase HERE.

3. Interactive Play for the Felines


Most felines prefer low tech toys such as the Kong Glide N Seek which uses magnets to entice the kitties – get yours HERE.

4. Cat-Nap Time


A new take on the feline favorite cardboard box is the Cat Above Snooze Pal hammock – get this adorableness HERE.

5. Pet Food, Treats, and Supplies via
Deliver pet necessities straight to a friend’s door! Pssst – if it’s your first order, they’ll donate $20 to us. :) Visit HERE.

6. Reading List: Underwater Puppies


7. Reading List: I Could Pee on This


8. Reading List: Cat Vs Human


9. Let’s Get Catty in the Kitchen


Oh, the cuteness of these cat measuring cups! Purchase HERE.

10. Tea for One in Super Cat Style


Black cat tea for one, please! Order HERE.

11. It’s Not a Party Without This Cat-Shaped Cheese Board


Complete with fish shaped spreader! Purchase HERE.

12. Speaking of Kitchens: Let’s Eat!


For those pups who gobble their kibble, there’s the Slo Bowl


For the discerning feline, there’s this gorgeous yellow cat bowl by Always Mod







13. Da Bird Cat Toy – repeat from the 2013 list, but SO WORTHY!
Da Bird is a high quality, durable, interactive toy that cats just LOVE. If you have not witnessed first hand a cat’s reaction to Da Bird, then you have no idea what you are in for! A single bob of Da Bird is completely irresistible to cats. Set on a swivel, its feathers look, sound, and feel like real bird wings. Its the most fun you’ll have with your feline friends! Check out the item HERE.

14. “I Am Complete” Swarovski Crystal Paw Ring


Check out the rings HERE.

15. KCZD Swag – You know you want some (more)!!
From clothing to home goods to tech accessories, CafePress offers a wide-range of products personalized with the logo of yours truly! Give your friends, family, or fellow volunteers, a gift that shows your (or their) dedication towards Karma Cat + Zen Dog. :) Purchase HERE.

16. Got a “Bad” Dog? Lumps of Coal!

Dogs only since we know there is no such thing as a bad cat! Giggle. Purchase HERE.

17. Carry Cat Cuteness With You at all Times


iPhone and iTouch cases – order one HERE.

18. Stuffed Animal Replica


Send a picture of your dog and this company will make you a stuffed one … and a portion of the sales are donated to help shelter animals. Get your stuffed animal HERE.

19. Donation
If purchasing gifts isn’t your thing, you can always donate to a cause in the name of the receiver to give a gift that keeps giving. FYI: Karma Cat + Zen Dog is listed on HERE. :)

20. Adopt an Animal!

CoverPhoto_Holidays2014The winter holidays are a popular time for people to buy dogs and cats at pet stores; supporting puppy mills, unethical stores, and inhumane practices, while leaving many other adorable, nursed back to health pets without owners. If you are planning to add a new furry friend to the family, please adopt, don’t shop. We have animals of all sizes and ages looking for a second chance at a forever home.

Visit PetFinder and Adopt-a-Pet, for more information on adoptables. We also post foster updates, fun pictures, and more on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We invite you to drop by during Adoption Hours, every Saturday and Sunday 11am-3:30pm at the North Brunswick PetSmart, to meet a potential new family member.

Happy Shopping!

National Cat Day 2014

Adopt a cat … or a few! Today we celebrate ALL cats and all our cat-loving friends. Here are some cute cat pictures because, well, cats! :)

Vince Neil

Vince Neil looking adorably pensive

Tommy Lee

Tommy Lee trying to figure out where Theodore is hiding!


Theodore is quite the dapper flirt!


PhilR – just chillin’


LynnNR knows she is royalty and well deserving of this royal purple blankie!


Excuse me, is this how a tie is supposed to look? ~JackieR


Skelter knows that black cats rule!


Helter wearing her fairy wings at the Rabbits Den Tattoo event!


I’ll share my toy, if you share your dinner. ~Simon

With so many adorable kitties available for adoption, you can’t go wrong! Contact us to make an appointment or visit us during regular adoption hours at the North Brunswick PetSmart every Sat. & Sun. (11am – 330pm). You can even apply to adopt online!

Can’t adopt? Volunteer or Donate!


Calico Quinn likes to preside over the activities at CatQuarters:

QuinnWe call it the CatQuarters as the space will serve as an office … and will be cats helping with all our tasks! We have lots of space for storage, cats, a computer … and 12 ft ceilings … our new space is pretty darn awesome.

If you’ve thought about volunteering, NOW is the perfect time to join us. Apply here:

You can also help with a sponsorship and/or a contribution to “stock our shelves”. Best place to donate: