Animals come to us from the Animal Control Officers (ACO) who pick them up in the cities that contract with our facility. Citizens finding stray animals are directed to contact their local ACO to have the animal picked up and taken to the appropriate holding facility. If you do not know who your ACO is contact your local police department or municipal building and ask them. We cannot take strays directly from citizens. Each municipality requires that the ACO for that area bring the stray animal in due to the possibility that a stray animal could be rabid and not yet displaying symptoms. In many municipalities anyone who has been feeding a stray animal for as much as 10 days is legally considered the owner and must release the animal to SJRAS. Feral and stray cats are quite problematic in this county, from spreading feline illness to causing damage to homes, and so anyone feeding a stray cat becomes responsible for the TOTAL care of that animal as well as any problems caused by that animal (therefore shelter, vet care, and containment must be provided by the person providing the food/water).
Stray animals from cities and townships that do not contract with our facility are not accepted by SJRAS. As an example, if someone from Newfield reported to the ACO that their pet was missing they would be informed to check for the animal at the shelter Newfield contracts with to house their stray animals. If the animal was picked up by a citizen and brought to SJRAS to owner would not know to look at SJRAS, as we are not Newfield's contracting facility. We also would not receive any funding to care for this dog, as funding is only provided to the shelter that has the city's contract.