Bayonne urges residents to register feral cat colonies with the Health Department

The announcement comes as the city's TNR program is now in operation

Municipal Services Director Suzanne Cavanaugh has announced that organizations that operate trap-neuter-release programs in Bayonne must register their cat colonies with the Health Department.

The city’s TNR program has been in full swing since Wednesday, November 9.

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“We want to ensure that all applicants are in compliance with Health Department procedures,” Cavanaugh said. “All those who are trapping cats must register their colonies with the City of Bayonne, so that we can keep track of their activities.”

Registrations must be filed with Health Officer Michele O’Reilly. Email requests for registration to MOReilly@baynj.org or call 201-858-6355.

Feral cats can be trapped for pick-ups on Thursdays. Assistance is available for novice trappers.

Trapping and pick-ups must be coordinated through the Bayonne Health Department. Call 201-858-6100.

The Health Department will coordinate pick-ups and drop-offs with the Animal Control Officer at the New Jersey Humane Society.

Cavanaugh concluded, “We appreciate everyone’s anticipated cooperation in making this program successful.”

City-run TNR is years in the making

The City Council previously approved a resolution at its November meeting revising its contract with the NJ Humane Society Corp. for animal control services regarding the TNR program.

The addendum to the contract clarifies the scope of the company’s services for the TNR program and ensures it conforms to the city’s ordinance. The addendum also clarifies that the amount for the TNR is “not to exceed” $25,000.

In April of 2021, the council first entered into the contract with the West New York-based company for an Animal Control Officer and Animal Shelter Services from May 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021 for $54,123. Officials said this was a cost-saving switch from previous contractor Liberty Humane Society of Jersey City.

Geoffrey Santini of the NJ Humane Society is the city’s Animal Control Officer, with a no-kill animal shelter in West New York. With a new Animal Control Officer, the city began setting up a TNR program with Santini as far back as September of 2021.

In March of 2022, the council renewed the contract, extending it through December 31, 2022 for an additional amount not to exceed $81,185. This brought the contract to $135,309 in total.

In order to authorize the TNR program, the council had to enter into a second amendment to the contract with the NJ Humane Soceity for an additional amount of $25,000. The council approved that resolution back in April, and subsequently approved an ordinance in September further outlining the TNR program

The $25,000 was allocated for the program from the 2021 municipal budget. City Council President Gary La Pelusa advocated for that amount, with a $5,000 increase from the $20,000 that was initially set aside.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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