Council Considers New Animal Sanctuary, Gaza and Finance in Caucus

The New Year will usher in a new role for Jersey City as administrator of animal control and shelter services, replacing longtime sponsor Liberty Humane Society.

LHS ran the program out of leased space at 235 Jersey City Boulevard for the past six years, but apparently irreconcilable differences led to a split. A proposed fee schedule for animal licensing and inspection will be reviewed by the City Council on Wednesday for possible adoption next month while LHS continues to find homes for those animals still at the shelter.

In a prepared statement, LHS Administrator Irene Borngraeber said, “LHS and the City of Jersey City do not align with what constitutes a humane urban animal control program.”

Paul Bellan-Boyer, the city’s health officer, told the council that the city aims to set fees “at or below” what is currently charged, including discounts to qualifying veterans, senior citizens and low-income residents. in an effort to make pet care more affordable.

In other matters, the council is expected to offer a joint resolution condemning carnage on both sides of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict and condemning “hate and racism” on both sides. approves the sale of $10 million in emergency notes “to fund contractually required serious liabilities arising from the retirement of city employees;” ratifies a new labor contract with city employees represented by Teamsters Local 641; approves applications for four retail stores cannabis at 656 Grand St., 390 Tonnele Ave. and 433 Palisade Ave. and approves settlements with former city employees totaling $415,000.

As for the animal shelter, in his briefing to city lawmakers, Bellan-Boyer — who did not forecast his annual budget — said the city is “in the process of hiring an initial animal control staff” and, as the shelter’s population is growing, several vets will be brought on board “to provide a higher level of service.”

Using volunteers would not be an option, he said, if it meant they were performing tasks normally under the purview of a paid employee.

To give residents a sense of how the new shelter will operate, Bellan-Boyer said the city plans to schedule public walking tours of the facility at least two weekday evenings and on weekends.

If the board competes, the shelter will charge $50 to adopt a cat, $75 for a kitten, $125 for a dog over 25 pounds, $175 for a dog under 25 pounds, $175 for a puppy (under 6 months old) and $20 for other animals. Delivery fees will be $25 for a spayed cat, $50 for an unspayed car, $15 for a kitten, $30 for a kitten, $25 for a spayed dog over 25 pounds, $75 for a non-spayed dog over 25 pounds, $25 for a puppy and small dogs under 6 months.

Redemption fees will be: $50 for spayed dog, $75 for non-spayed dog, $15 for spayed cat, $25 for non-spayed cat, $10 for other animals. Microchipped and registered animals can be rehomed within the shelter’s service area for a $30 fee, but the owner must be home to pick up the animal.

Putting an animal down would cost anywhere from $30 to $75 depending on its weight. For disposal of dead pets, there would be a fee of $20 for an animal brought to the shelter or $50 for an animal picked up by the owner.

The shelter will charge a daily animal handling fee of $10 for the first day and $4 for each day thereafter. If not picked up after the seventh day, the animal will be put up for adoption, transport or euthanasia.

Special service fees proposed include: $25 for pickups of dead animals on private property (except raccoons, hogs, skunks, bats and foxes); $25 for animals released from legally or illegally set traps. $50 deposit to loan trap for up to seven days, but deposit is refundable if trap is returned clean and in good condition. $15 for a microchip implant. and $100 for a 10-day bite quarantine through police, prosecutor or owner request.

Suggested vet fees are listed as: $50 for basic vaccinations including rabies for a dog or cat; $5 for rabies vaccination only. $75 to spay a cat. $100 to spay a dog under 25 lbs. $150 to spay a dog over 25 lbs. $25 for vet wellness check. and $50 for a veterinarian wellness check.

Adding to her earlier comments, Borngraeber said the shelter is “currently not funded at a level to independently sustain basic operations or humane animal care. LHS has had to raise more than $500,000 in public contributions annually to subsidize this inadequate level of municipal shelter funding and provide behavioral medicine and animal adoption services to ensure that every animal with a viable chance of recovery could have the opportunity to placed in loving home.”

As for its future, Borngraeber said the private nonprofit organization is “laying the groundwork to open an affordable, low-cost animal health services facility, as well as restart spay/neuter and wellness services for pet owners in 2024.” .

(tags For Translation) Jersey City Government

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