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FOCAS' Mission

Promote the general welfare and natural conservation, preservation and protection of all species of animals. 


                  Is FOCAS the Bergen County Animal Shelter?

No we are not.  We have taken care of the shelter's animals for over two decades, but we are not the shelter.  Farther down on the page is a brief history ("Let's Focus on FOCAS") of our organization, its origin, mission and programs developed for County shelter animals and other homeless animals in our community.  Although FOCAS is not BCAS, we have been officially designated by the County to be the sole provider of volunteer services and programs for animal care and well-being at BCAS. 

The County sets policies and procedures for animal handling and shelter operations.  FOCAS is a "voice for the animals" to strongly advocate in their best interest at the shelter, but we have no control over setting the policies and procedures that regulate their handling and care, nor over which of our humane programs will be accepted to improve quality of life.

The Bergen County Animal Shelter (BCAS) is owned and operated by the County.  It is funded by tax dollars and participating town contracts, and staffed with paid employees.  BCAS provides the very basics of housing and veterinary care.  Donations to BCAS are used by the County as it sees fit. 

FOCAS is a state-recognized 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) charitable organization.  FOCAS is a non-profit humane organization, relying totally on unpaid volunteers and charitable donations to fulfill its mission.  FOCAS does not receive government funding.  Donations to FOCAS are used to provide the medical care and programs that help the animals at BCAS and other homeless, injured or sick animals in our community.

 FOCAS provides medical care, volunteer services and animal welfare programs for the animals that surpass the basics that BCAS provides.  FOCAS also supplies "extras" like beds and toys.  We implemented a formalized volunteer training program for canine handing, socialization, behavior modification and re-homing.  FOCAS works with BCAS animals through all stages of shelter life, from adjustment to shelter confinement to optimal adoption placement in forever homes.  You can read more about core programs under the "FOCAS Programs" section of this site.

Since 1984 FOCAS has provided.....

Funding - Humane Services - Programs
for Animal Care & Well-Being
..... to support abandoned, homeless and injured animals
at the Bergen County Animal Shelter and
in our Bergen County Community


Let's Focus on FOCAS (our "roots")

President's Message published in the Spring 2002 issue of The Scoop

Eighteen years of service and still going strong, thanks to the generous financial support of our donors and the unwavering commitment of our volunteers.  Fortunately, our community of friends keeps growing.  No better time than now to introduce the newest members of FOCAS and The Scoop readers to the bond that brought and has kept us together . . . the well-being of animals.

When FOCAS was founded 18 years ago, membership consisted of a handful of volunteers.  Its resources were meager; its determination unfaltering; its purpose clear:  to promote the general welfare and natural conservation, protection, and preservation of all species of animals.  FOCAS' most immediate outreach . . . rescued and abandoned animals in need of compassion and care.

As financial support grew, FOCAS channeled that support not only for the special needs of shelter and rescued animals, but also in educating and expanding public awareness to "Adopt an animal and save a life" and the commitment that goes with it.

Our non-profit organization depends on volunteers.  FOCAS volunteers work at:  assisting with on-site shelter adoptions, organizing and managing off-site adoptions, cleaning cages, washing dishes and litter pans, walking dogs, grooming animals, managing a dog obedience program, transporting animals in need of special medical care to veterinary hospitals, transporting animals for adoption by rescue groups, networking with rescue groups, fund raising events, publishing The Scoop, writing descriptions and taking pictures for animals listed on, grant writing, managing the spay/neuter "hot line" and temporary fostering of animals, including those with special needs.

Our faithful contributors make it possible for FOCAS' ongoing support of:  spay/neuter programs, veterinary services, surgeries and critical care for animals, medical supplies and equipment, computer chips for tagging animals, air conditioning units for shelter surgical, examination and post-op rooms, shelter' requests to provide financial support for modernization of dog kennels, fans to augment appropriate air circulation in non-air conditioned shelter environments, fostering programs, supplies for the care and feeding of "bottle babies" of all kinds, and cardboard carriers and leashes for animals.  As you can see, both lists seems endless.  The needs are great.  Your support is priceless!

If you haven't already, please consider becoming a FOCAS volunteer.  Whatever time or talent you can donate will be greatly appreciated and will go a very long way to bringing comfort and care to animals.  FOCAS would welcome members with PR, accounting, grant writing, printing, and legal expertise to offer guidance from time to time.

FOCAS takes seriously its responsibility for sound fiscal stewardship of the funds it raises and the generous donations that you entrust to  us.  That is why our goal is to insure that both be used exclusively for the well-being of animals.  FOCAS is committed to both upholding its mission and honoring your trust.  Thank you for allowing us to be instruments of your generosity and compassion.

Carol M. Burrows, FOCAS President