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ACORN gives dogs a fighting chance

Among the over 200 volunteers that serve the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society and its animal shelter, there is a small yet highly dedicated group known as ACORN.

The group’s name stands for "Animal Control Outreach and Rescue Program" and the compassionate work of its members has helped to reduce Gloucester County Animal Control’s euthanasia rate from 61 percent in 1995 to less than 6 percent in recent years.

Watching the ACORN volunteers in action, it hardly looks like work. In a kennel run at the old Animal Control building, they are playing with a large adult dog that prances about proudly with a mouth full of toy teddy bear.

Another dog enters the run and shows a preference for ball over bear, going from one person to the next in a tail-wagging teasing with his tennis ball. Some of the dogs here have never had a toy or a human to play with, and now the attention brings out a youthful spiritedness.

Part of the mission of the Gloucester-Mathews Humane...

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