When Liberty Humane became the animal control provider for Jersey City in 2016, we were determined to set the community up for long-term success. One of the first steps toward this goal was implementing a new program that was designed to expand the traditional services of animal control into something more holistic and community-supportive rather than just trapping and sheltering animals. The result was our awesome Animal Response Team (ART) which have become one of the most essential pieces of LHS and our mission.
Made up of animal control officers, dispatchers, and community cat specialists, the Animal Response Team (ART) was named in an effort to provide an accurate description of how the role of the in-community animal representatives has evolved over time. No longer are officers simply trapping animals and bringing animals back to the shelter – now, they are actively assessing each animal on an individual basis and determining the most humane pathway to the most beneficial outcome. This can mean traditional trapping and sheltering; successful trapping, vaccinating/neutering and returning to where they were found; or simply managing them right where they are – thriving in their outdoor home. Thanks to the efforts of the ART and the more than 4,000 calls they received last year, LHS performed 709 public spay/neuter surgeries and placed more than 1,480 animals in homes - an incredible impact for such a dedicated team.
Thanks to the great work of our ART and similar programs at progressive shelters around the country, the entire animal welfare industry is continuing to evolve – finding new ways to best serve our communities and the animals that call them home. We encourage all of our supporters, donors, and stakeholders to watch our website and social feeds to learn more about how we are changing the way we work to benefit all.
A version of this article appeared in LHS' newsletter The Dispatch. Click here to sign-up to receive The Dispatch.