The rush continues in the efforts to save our shelter from discontinuing services at the end of the year. We’ve been supplying the Cumberland County Board of Freeholders with information about our organization so that they might better understand what the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals does and what needs to happen in order for us to survive.At this point, we have no idea what that will lead to, but we do know that the county will be communicating with the individual municipalities and hopefully coming to some understanding of what their roles are in all of this. Since the vast majority of our animals come in as strays from our municipal contracts, the successful resolution to the problem can only come with their cooperation.
Unlike the counties and municipalities around us, our local government entities take responsibility for only the seven-day period for which stray animals must be legally held. After that week, the animals and all the costs associated with care and placement of them falls on the Cumberland County SPCA shelter. There is no time limit on the animals’ length of stay; they may be here for weeks or months. We make every effort to get all adoptable animals into new homes or out to rescues that can help place them. When infants come in to the shelter, they are sent to foster homes until they are weaned and big enough to be fixed and placed; that can be eight weeks or more of sustenance and medical care. We have adult pets, especially the older ones, that don’t fly out the door but that we know will make great companions to someone if we can just find the right home; they also may be here for weeks or months. Often the shelter animals come down with upper respiratory infections because they have come to us unvaccinated; they must then be provided care until they recover, again taking weeks.
If individual municipalities were forced to maintain their own impound facilities for stray pets, they would not have the resources or the infrastructure to care for those animals from the day they were taken in until the day that they could be placed in homes. It is a long, laborious process from the day of entry to the day of adoption or transfer. The only solution is for our towns to work together through the county to act responsibly and humanely.That process has to start within the towns themselves. Adopting and enforcing ordinances that promote good stewardship of our pet population would be the obvious first step. Utilizing licensing fees for spay and neuter funds is a no-brainer. Providing resources to help get cats fixed through grants or public funding is an absolute must. Penalizing the backyard breeders that fill our shelter with difficult-to-place dogs would be instrumental in cutting back the overpopulation of pit bulls.
Election Day is just one short week away. Please contact your candidates and make sure that know the importance of these issues and having them handled properly.In the meantime, please remember that our shelter is still here, still packed full of pets needing your support, your compassion and your help.
Source: Race is on to save SPCA shelter