Circle of Compassion For Animals


The “Circle of Compassion for Animals” brings together groups and individuals in a coalition of animal advocates with the expectation of establishing no-kill communities in South Jersey. First introduced in 2006, the “Circle” continues to build on its initial success by expanding the circle of participants each year.

“Circle of Compassion for Animals” objectives are:

1. To increase the placements of adoptable, healthy cats and dogs
2. To reduce the deaths of shelter dogs and cats
3. To reduce the number of stray/feral cats in the county via TNR and placements
4. To increase the number of spay/neuter surgeries
5. To provide appropriate medical treatment, behavior modification and/or foster care to turn sick, injured, traumatized, infant or unsocialized animals into animals ready for placement.

Click to learn about Georgie Porgie, Poster Kitty for Circle of Compassion for Animals.

“Circle” partners strive to find loving, permanent homes for all adoptable animals. PACS and their Partners further pledge that adoptable animals will not be killed just because they are homeless at a time when shelters and rescues are full; they pledge to find room at the inn by widening the circle of compassion. “Circle” members may include representatives from local and county government, the veterinary community, animal control officers, businesses, and individuals who work diligently on behalf of animals. PACS offers financial support to “Circle” referred animals, including treatable and/hard to place animals. Support includes reasonable medical care and/or behavior modification training necessary prior to placement.

As in past years, developing and expanding the “Circle of Compassion for Animals” will be a funding priority for Paws and Claws Society.

In keeping with our mission, we believe it is important to support partnerships that are both appropriate and mutually beneficial, where PACS is recognized as a partner in the programs offered as a result of PACS funding. We understand that being identified on any products or publicity which may be generated as a result of those programs will help expand the “Circle” and spread the “Circle” kindness message.


Read Tabby’s Place’s story of D’Artagnan, the courageous paraplegic kitten who was helped by a Paws and Claws Society “Circle” grant given to rescue a future exceptionally needy cat.



Paws and Claws Society is now accepting Circle of Compassion for Animals grant applications to fund no-kill programs and services.

Download the Grant Application Summary

Download the Program Proposal

Matthew Jamison, Ed.D., principal of Ocean City High School, where student Danielle Breckenridge was a 3rd Prize winner in Cape May County of this year’s Circle of Compassion for Animals Senior Scholarship Award, sent a very nice thank-you letter to Paws and Claws and Madelyn Filipski, who presented the awards. In it, he said, “June 6th was an incredible event for the Class of 2011. The scholarship you presented represents a gift that keeps giving. Promoting academics and dedication is a powerful lesson for our students. The affirmation you give for their efforts will encourage their continued success.”

.The results are in! The winners of this year’s Circle Of Compassion For Animals Senior Scholarship Award have been announced. Congratulations to all!!

Best Idea

Prize – $1,500.
Marissa Miller
Mainland Regional High School

Atlantic County

1st Prize – $1,000.
Emma Elmer
Mainland Regional High School
2nd Prize – $750.
Jared Kohr
Egg Harbor Township High School

3rd Prize – $500.
Danielle Shenk
Charter-Tech High School

Cape May County

1st Prize – $1,000.
Anthony Di Cicco
Middle Township High School

2nd Prize – $750.
Joseph Safaryn
Lower Cape May Regional High School

3rd Prize – $500.
Danielle Breckenridge
Ocean City High School

The Circle Of Compassion For Animals will again offer our Senior Scholarship Award for 2011!

Graduating seniors in four southern New Jersey counties are invited to submit their animal shelter adoption ideas to the Circle of Compassion Annual Senior Scholarship Award Contest by May 1.

Paws and Claws Society is offering a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards in each county, in the amounts of $500, $750, and $1,000, for the best original and practical ways to increase the adoption of shelter pets. There will be a $1,500 scholarship award for the student with the best idea from the four counties. Ideas can apply to an entire shelter or to specific types of adoptions like senior pets, special needs pets, feral cats or big dogs.

Students from Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem Counties can submit up to five original ideas, but each student can only win one award. The high schools of first place winning students will receive subscriptions to a selection of animal themed periodicals for their library.

Paws and Claws Society of Thorofare, New Jersey designed Circle of Compassion Scholarship Awards to tap into the vitality and creativity of our young people by challenging them to put their active minds into solving an old problem – how to get more animals adopted from animal shelters.

Nationally, only about sixteen percent of pets are selected from a shelter. As a consequence millions of perfectly wonderful animals meet their end in “shelters.” Few are aware that about twenty-five percent of the animals in US shelters are pedigree or that there are significant benefits to adopting a previously loved pet. By adopting a shelter pet, you rescue an already viable, precious life and discourage the breeding of unwanted animals.

For more information about the scholarship award, see the Press Release, the letter sent to eligible schools, and the Senior Flyer, or send an email with Scholarship in the Subject to


Paws and Claws Society unveils new program: Fix and Feed Our Pets in Need – Who will receive the food? Cape May County residents who are currently receiving people food items from the Holy Redeemer Food Pantry. No one should have to relinquish their pet because they cannot afford to feed it. We’re committed to providing pet food – and relief – to pet owners through the Holy Redeemer Food Pantry so that neither they, nor their pets go hungry. For more information, see our full program details.


Winners of Senior Scholarship Award Announced

Paws and Claws Society announces the winners in its Circle of Compassion for Animals Senior Scholarship Award Competition. Thanks to all who participated and congratulations to all who won!

Ian Cummings, Mainland Regional High School


1. Rachel Low, Absegami High School
2. Joshua Carty, Hammonton High School
3. Patrick A. Ciboldi, Mainland Regional High School


1. Seth Kelly, Cape May County Technical HS
2. Devon Bailey, Cape May County Technical HS
3. Michael Hagan, Jr., Ocean City High School


1. Robert Zippel, A. P. Schalick High School
2. Shannon Whyte, Woodstown High School
3. Arlene Lodge, Woodstown High School


Katelynn Kuni, Wildwood High School


Senior Scholarship Award

Paws and Claws Society is seeking the fresh ideas of young people for an old problem – how to get more animals adopted from animal shelters.

AWARDS: A 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize may be awarded in each participating county for $1,000, $750 and $500 respectively. The student submitting the best idea from all the entrants may be awarded $1,500.

ELIGIBILITY: Seniors attending high schools in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem Counties who will graduate in spring 2010.

CHALLENGE: Only about 16% of the animals adopted into homes come from animal shelters. The challenge is to create an original, practical way to increase the adoption of shelter pets and describe it in an essay of less than 500 words. Idea(s) can apply to an entire shelter or to specific types of adoptions like senior pets, special needs pets, feral cats or big dogs. You can submit up to five original ideas, if each is a separate submission.

JUDGING: A four person committee chaired by the Paws and Claws Society Treasurer will judge the submissions. Decisions will be final. Paws and Claws Society reserves the right not to award all prizes, if entries are not original. If a same or similar winning idea is submitted, the earliest postmark will decide the winner.

TERMS: By submitting an idea essay all students are signifying that their work is original. While the students will retain rights to their work, Paws and Claws Society reserves the right to use all ideas without compensation.

SUBMIT: On one side of a single sheet of paper place your name, school, school address, school telephone number and county. Place your idea essay on the other side and mail by May 1, 2010, to: Circle of Compassion Senior Scholarship, PO Box 633, CMCH, NJ 08210.

WINNERS: Scholarship winners will be notified during their school’s normal award ceremony. A list of winners can be obtained after June 15 by emailing .

See the press release. See the letter sent to schools.

Also see Pennsville Pound Purrfect Pets.