Who We Are

We are Grateful Paws NJ, a  registered and licensed 501(c)3 non-profit organization devoted to rescuing stray and abandoned animals throughout New Jersey, providing medical care, and helping them to find new homes. At Grateful Paws NJ, our mission is twofold: 

We also run specialized programs to home animals including our Seniors for Seniors Program.

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Board of Directors


Naomi Tepper

Naomi’s introduction to rescue began when a stray she was feeding in Jersey City delivered her two litters of her babies when she was done weaning them. Momma has since been spayed - but because of those litters, friends and family members began calling on her to help with kittens and cats in their neighborhood. Naomi had much more time during the pandemic, so she began fostering for an NYC-based rescue. Fostering turned into joining another rescue and then starting her own.

Vice President

Meg Ruffing

Meg's first dive into rescuing cats were introduced to her in 2017 when she found a black kitten stuck in her car engine. The kitten was feral, so she watched YouTube videos on how to socialize hissy kittens and adopted her. Flash forward to the pandemic when she worked from home and was interested in fostering kittens, especially bottle babies. She wanted to start fostering, but her husband was concerned for their cats. So she did what any woman would do - apply to foster behind his back! Now she is fostering kittens, especially neonatal and bottle babies, with the help of her husband, who is happy she went behind his back.


Andréa Strutt

Andréa Strutt, CPA, has 20 years of experience in financial planning, accounting, and animal welfare. She has worked at the Helen Woodward Animal Center, CA, and has volunteered at the Animal Rescue League of Boston and the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter.