It was 1993 when a pet cat’s owners simply left the animal at Joseph Chiosi’s veterinary hospital.
Staff members cared for the feline and then found it a home. But when that cat strutted into its new life, it left the door open for other forsaken pets. The doctor and his staff began caring for so many abandoned animals that Chiosi opened the nonprofit Sayreville Pet Adoption Center next to his Main Street office.
At one time, as many as 260 cats made their home at the shelter, with a paid staff of three full- and 12 part-timers — not to mention a stream of volunteers.
But after 19 years, the “no kill” shelter’s work nearly ended last month after the adoption center lost its last municipal contract to take in strays.
Then word got out. A campaign of fundraisers began, spreading news of the shelter’s plight, and funds and supplies began flowing.