Follow Up: Ridgewood, NJ Receives First ‘Dog-Friendly Community Award’

We recently post the news that Ridgewood, NJ was awarded the first “Dog-Friendly Community” Award from the American Kennel Club.

On Saturday, February 8th, 2014, the Village of Ridgewood received the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) inaugural Dog-Friendly Community award. This award honors dog-friendly communities and/or community officials and the actions they have taken that promote the well-being of dogs in their community.

A press conference, attended by humans and dogs alike, was held at Saddle River County Park’s dog run.  Ridgewood Mayor Paul Aronsohn, Village Manager Heather Mailander and Village Supervisor of Health Dawn Cetrulo were on hand to accept the award from AKC Chief Operating Officer Daryl Hendricks and AKC Board Members Lee Arnold and Dr. Charles Garvin. After the award was presented, Assemblyman David C. Russo read a Joint Legislative Resolution sponsored by Senator O’Toole and Assemblymen Russo and Rumana. Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan also spoke and congratulated Ridgewood on the accomplishment.

Photo provided by Jeff & Betsy Ball

From left to right – Dr Charles Garvin, AKC Board of Directors, Betsy Ball, Ridgewood Responsible Pet Ownership Committee, Kathleen Donovan, Bergen County Executive Director, Daryl Hendricks, AKC COO, Jeffrey Ball, President New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs, Lee Arnold AKC Board of Directors, Assemblyman David C. Russo and Rose Ann Tucker and Markus, Ramapo Kennel Club at the February 8th , 2014 Press Conference.

Ridgewood resident and president of the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs, Jeffrey Ball, was also present. Mr. Ball played a key role in establishing the Ridgewood Responsible Pet Ownership Committee in 2013, which was singled out by the AKC as one of Ridgewood’s outstanding achievements. Mr. Ball stated “I am proud that the AKC has recognized my home town. Ridgewood has always been a pet friendly community but with the formation of the committee, we now have the ability to help both the residents and pets even more. ”

Photo provided by Jeff & Betsy Ball

Following the press conference, residents and attendees were invited to the Ridgewood Community Center celebrate the award. Local dogs including a number of dogs entered at this week’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show were on hand to meet and greet the public. For many, the highlight of the reception was cake provided by Carlo’s Bakery which was a duplicate of the AKC award and featured chocolate carvings of a Great Dane and a Westie.

Photo provided by Jeff & Betsy Ball

The next Ridgewood Responsible Pet Ownership Committee event will be held on May 14, 2014. At that time the town will conduct a free rabies clinic and the committee will provide a free microchip pet ID clinic. For more information about these clinics contact Village Health Department or the Ridgewood Responsible Pet Ownership Committee Facebook page.

The committee has plans for several additional community based events throughout 2014.  For information about the committee, you can contact Jeffrey Ball at

0 0 vote
Article Rating
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Robert Roe, Health Officer Maplewood NJ

Maplewood is considering working with a local cat TNR volunteer organization to do TNR in an organized manner that will hopefully help the reduce the feral cat populations. This is part of our Responsible Pet Ownership health education campaign. Does your group have any special laws or rules that relate to cats? We are currently in the process of drafting an enabling ordinance for TNR. Let me know if you would like to see this. Call if needed, 973-762-8120 x4400.