CLARK, NJ – Last week, Linden Animal Control announced that it would close its facility at the end of this year after an investigation by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services turned up multiple violations at the site. An ad hoc Animal Control Committee formed by the City of Linden released a report that included short and long term goals that included the demolition of the existing facility.
Local municipalities, including Clark, contracted with Linden Animal Control to provide animal control services in the township. An alternate service provider is now being sought by township officials.
At Monday’s town council meeting, concerned resident Delia Collins addressed the council. She implored council members to perform due diligence in selecting a proper facility that would provide safe, clean and humane conditions for lost pets. Some of points she asked the council to consider were:
- care over cost
- that the shelter include a working rescue group
- active posting of lost pets
- concerned animal control officers
- a staff veterinarian that can provide emergency treatment
- concise record-keeping
- clean and sanitary facility
- a separate holding area for infectious animals
- a convenient location and hours of operation
Collins suggested that facilities in Woodbridge, Edison and Newark be explored by the council.
Business Administrator John Laezza assured Collins that the administration is currently reviewing available options. He said that the Woodbridge shelter would cost $45,000 per year versus the Linden contract that cost the township $23,000 per year. Linden had been called 79 times over the last year and 43 of those calls were in response to animals that had already died.
When reached later for comment, Mayor Sal Bonaccorso said that the township is making every effort to find a suitable alternative for both short and long term animal control needs. Pricing has not yet been received from some of the area shelters. “We want to find the best place for the best dollar value,” he said.
One long term solution may be a shared facility built in Linden through a municipal agreement with participating towns. That type of project could take a year or two to develop and implement. Bonaccorso said that a county-level facility could be another viable long term solution if the county was willing to take on the project and an equitable billing arrangement could be developed.
Prior recent coverage about Linden Animal Control can be found at TAP into Roselle/Roselle Park:
Report Reveals New Details About Linden Animal Shelter - August 13, 2014
Disgraced Animal Shelter to Leave Six Communities Without Services - August 9, 2014