MONTVALE, N.J. -- A unique Montvale-based pet protection organization that helps domestic abuse victims named a popular Bergen County police veteran as its new president.
Sgt. Gidget Petry of the Bergen County Sheriff's Office's Bureau of Police Services was promoted to the Shelter Our Pets presidency on Wednesday.
Lynn Gregorski, the specialized agency's co-founder and last serving president for two consecutive terms, becomes vice president with a focus on fundraising and development.
Petry "has been a friend, a mentor and a huge supporter of Shelter Our Pets," Lynn Gregorski said. "I can't think of anyone better to lead the organization.”
Shelter Our Pets provides care for animals of abuse victims, sheltering them either with a foster family or at an area kennel until they can be permanently reunited with their owners.
That includes medical care, behavior modification, food, toys, supplies and "all the love and nurturing pets need," the agency says.
The object to help domestic violence victims rebuild their lives without having to give up a beloved pet, leave one behind in a potentially dangerous situation -- or, worse, continue to subject themselves and their animals to abuse.
Petry has vast experience with both emergency management and animals.
After more than 10 years with the county Office of Emergency Management, she was promoted in 2014 and returned to patrol.
She currently is the director of the Bergen County Animal Response Team and has trained more than 9,000 volunteers for emergency response.
Petry continues to train CART volunteers for emergency response for animals in disasters. She also is certified as an animal control officer and animal cruelty investigator.
“I would love nothing more than to stand alongside Lynn, the board and the most amazing group of volunteers and take this organization to the next level," Petry said. "Our mission is strong and, along with being able to help victims in Bergen County and surrounding areas, it's important to expand our mission throughout the state.
"Who knows? Maybe one day we will be the model used for other states.”