A Tragic Circumstance Inspires a Hoboken Couple to Support Liberty Humane Society
Displaced Residents from the 300 Washington Street Fire in Hoboken Establish a Memorial Fund with Liberty Humane Society
March 7, 2012, Jersey City, NJ – Pets enrich our lives by providing companionship and unconditional love; therefore, the tragic loss of a pet can leave a family absolutely devastated. It can be especially traumatic when that loss was the result of a sudden, unforeseen accident. Kevin and Bethany Rose of Hoboken, New Jersey experienced just that on the evening of Sunday, February 19th when their two beloved cats, Tessa and Jack, were trapped in the horrific fire that tore through their apartment located in the 300 Washington Street building in Hoboken which is currently undergoing demolition.
The fire began shortly after 7pm on the bottom floor of the building. While Bethany and Kevin were out of town for the evening, their cat sitter Pat Lombardi of Pat’s Pets called them in a frantic state to notify them of the fire. Devastated by the news, Bethany and Kevin immediately rushed back to Hoboken. All they could think about was the safety of their two cats. “The scene was horrifying when we arrived in Hoboken. By the time we reached the building, firefighters were no longer allowed into the burning structure and the fire was raging on the fourth and fifth floors.” said Bethany. At 4am the next morning, Bethany and Kevin finally received the news that their beloved cats Tessa and Jack did not survive the fire. They had been victims of smoke inhalation. Companions until the end, Tessa and Jack were found by firefighters under the bed huddled together. The next day, Pat Lombardi returned to the apartment with firefighters to retrieve the two cats so they could be properly laid to rest.
Tessa and Jack came into Bethany and Kevin’s life in 2008. Tessa had a rough start. She was initially found by a rescue group as a pregnant mom and roaming the streets of the Bronx. Bethany and Kevin adopted Tessa after her kittens had already found their forever homes. Tessa had some medical problems at first including an ear infection that required surgery resulting in deafness and imbalance. Despite this, her playful personality persisted so the family decided to bring a playmate, Jack, into her life. Together, Tessa and Jack won the hearts of everyone they came in contact with – even those individuals who insisted they didn’t like cats.
In honor of Tessa and Jack’s memory, Bethany and Kevin Rose will be setting up “The Tessa and Jack Memorial Fund” at Liberty Humane Society. The memorial fund will be utilized to develop infrastructure improvements to Liberty Humane’s cat housing. After a successful kennel fundraising campaign performed last year, Liberty Humane is still in need of housing upgrades for the thousands of homeless cats that come through the door every year.
“Proper housing is one of the leading factors in decreasing stress and medical complications in the shelter while providing a more esthetically pleasing environment to visitors, which leads to more adoptions” says Irene Borngraeber, Director of Development and Operations. “We are deeply touched that the Roses have chosen to honor Tessa and Jack’s memory through such a lasting gift to Liberty Humane. Their generosity in the midst of personal tragedy speaks to the strength and endurance of the human-animal bond”.
“Kevin and I have shed many tears over our losses over the past couple of weeks, but we have also been touched by the incredible kindness that has emerged,” said Bethany. “We want to turn this terrible event into an opportunity to help other cats and animals in need.”
A special donation section has been set up in Tessa and Jack’s honor on the LHS donation page. Please help keep the memory of Tessa and Jack alive by generously contributing to this fund. With your help, Liberty Humane Society can continue to help other cats like Tessa and Jack find their loving companions.
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Posted: Mar 9, 2012