To the Editor:
Two years ago animal welfare professionals, pet owners, and community activists stood outside Bayonne city hall and raised concerns about an out-of-county animal control provider hired by Mayor Davis and the city council.
Our concerns at the time were simple: where are our animals going to be sheltered, how long will the response times be, and will this provider be transparent with his records.
After two longs years of complaints and dissatisfaction from residents, the contract is finally up. In fact, the contract has been up for the past three months and we demand a vote on a provider.
The current animal control provider, Geoff Santini of Lodi-based company NJACR, put in a proposal for $87,500. This provider has three Animal Control Officers and contracts with seven different municipalities including Garfield in Bergen County. Their shelter is not located at the same address they are headquartered.
The alternative, Liberty Humane Society of Jersey City, will save taxpayers nearly $3,000. LHS has eight Animal Control Officers and serves two municipalities. Their shelter is on-site and holds twice the number of animals. LHS has provided veterinary records upon request, has an interactive website as well as a Facebook page.
Usually city officials have to make tough decisions. This isn’t one of them. LHS is the more cost- effective, more responsive, choice that maintains better recordkeeping and has fewer complaints.
It’s time for Mayor Davis and his council to stop playing politics with our animals and start doing what’s right for Bayonne. Join me Wednesday, March 14 at 6:30 at Bayonne city hall to rally again for our animals. If you would like to speak at this meeting I urge you to sign up at the city clerk’s office prior to the meeting no later than Monday, March 12.