Alex Balaban Recognized For Volunteer Work With Animals

Longtime resident and volunteer Alexander Balaban was recognized at the May 16th Mayor & Council meeting for his years of dedicated volunteer work with animals in Roselle Park.

Mr. Balaban has worked with the borough’s T-N-R program (trap-neuter-release), searched for lost pets, arranged for the neutering & spaying feral cats, relocated unwanted & abandoned cats, and collected & distributed food for homeless cats.

“I came on council in 2009 and I was awarded the liaison for animal control. [From] 2009 till [the] present day I still have animal control and Alex here has worked with me so close,” said Mayor Carl Hokanson, who presented the Certificate of Recognition to Mr. Balaban, “Alex has been there. He has done numerous fundraising at the library. He’ll drop off dog food, cat food and stuff like that for the animals. . . Alex has [given] a great amount of time to make [things for] everybody in this borough, especially me, so much easier and Alex, I want to thank you for it.”

Mr. Balaban spoke on his endeavor, “I lead a small group but we have a big heart with a passion for saving cats. One life at a time.”

He commented on his group’s current efforts which include lost pet recovery, assisting with neutering and spaying of pets, and fostering cats to try to get them adopted as well as rehabilitating sick cats.

“If they’re non-show grade cats, we try to transport them to barns,” stated Alex, “They’re very desirable in the farm areas of Pennsylvania, especially Lehigh Valley because it’s an economic issue to these farmers that crops not be eaten by rodents and also to keep them in barns to protect the horse [and] horse feed because if rodent feces gets into horse feed, it can lead to blindness.”

Mr. Balaban recounted how his family in Ukraine raised barn cats, Great Danes, German Shepherds, and other farm animals. He stated, “It’s a family affair that I got the passion from so I thank you and good evening.”

Concluding with an appeal, Alex stated that he and his group are always in need of wet & dry cat food, medium-sized pet carriers, and cat litter. Donations can be dropped off at the Roselle Park Veterans Memorial Library during hours of operation at 401 Chestnut Street. Anyone needing more information or anybody has issues with cats can contact Alex Balaban at (908) 418-0020.