At the Bayonne City Council meeting on Tuesday November 10th, the Council unanimously voted on a mid-term termination of its animal control and sheltering contract with Liberty Humane Society (LHS) that runs through April of 2016, and approved a contract with New Jersey Animal Control and Rescue, a controversial for-profit firm based in Lodi, New Jersey as of December 1st. We were not aware that the City had issued a new Request for Proposals (RFP), or that they were seeking to terminate our agreement until hours before the council meeting.
Over the last year, LHS has faced increasing pressure from the City of Bayonne to remove healthy wildlife from municipal and private property and euthanize or relocate them elsewhere. This is against our animal control policies, and against best practices. LHS follows the State of New Jersey’s animal control best practices, which allows for the removal of injured, sick, or dangerous wildlife for rehabilitation or euthanasia. Healthy wildlife is protected under state law, and it is illegal and inhumane to relocate certain types of wildlife (known as rabies vector species) outside of city limits.
The Bayonne Municipal Council does not agree with LHS’s wildlife policy and has chosen to contract with a company who will take a different, as yet undocumented approach.
This company will also be responsible for responding to calls for assistance with stray or injured domestic animals, securing emergency medical care, and housing these animals in accordance with state law. The facility where these animals will be taken and the conditions in which they will be kept have not been made public. This is where the residents of Bayonne will need to travel to in order to search for their lost pets.
LHS is disappointed by the City of Bayonne’s decision to suddenly terminate animal control and sheltering services with our facility and to engage a provider about whom little is known. We urge the public to ask for more details so as to ensure the safety of their community animals. Contact information for the Mayor and Council can be found here.
We have appreciated the opportunity to make progressive animal control and sheltering services available to residents, if only for a short time.
State of New Jersey Animal Control Best Practices:
State of New Jersey Wildlife Relocation Policy:
View and download a PDF of this statement, here.