St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison will take in Newark's animals after a dispute between the city and its shelter.
A Madison animal shelter has agreed to house Newark’s rescues and strays through the end of the year, after the city’s former shelter announced it would no longer accept Newark animals starting Nov. 8.
St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center will now take in animals picked up by Newark’s animal control. Residents who want to surrender a pet or need help locating an animal can also call the shelter for help.
Newark was forced to find alternate animal sheltering after Associated Humane Societies accused the city of not paying its bills and ended its services. City officials fired back and said the shelter’s former director, who was banned from the facility under a plea agreement involving animal cruelty charges, was obstructing contract negotiations. The shelter, the city said, reneged on previous agreements and wanted a 40 percent increase to its $675,000 annual fee.
“The residents of the city of Newark cannot be held hostage by AHS, and will not be held hostage,” Business Administrator Eric Pennington previously said.
Associated Humane Societies is the largest sheltering facility in the state but its Newark facility on Evergreen Avenue was skewered in multiple state and local health inspections last year when officials found bags of carcasses covered in flies, sick animals not receiving basic vet care and questionable protocols for euthanizing animals.
Pennington said the facility continued to violate health standards for the first few months this year.
Under the city’s new agreement, St. Hubert’s will shelter animals through 2018 and Liberty Humane Society of Jersey City will take over those services next year until Newark develops its own animal shelter.
Heather Cammisa, St. Hubert’s President and CEO, said the nonprofit would also launch its community outreach programs in Newark to help residents address pet care needs and offer vaccinations and sterilization of free-roaming community cats.
“The city of Newark looks forward to starting a new chapter of animal control services with its new partners … where commitment to animal preservation and delivery of state of the art animal care services is a reality for the citizens of Newark,” Dr. Mark J. Wade, Newark’s director of health and community wellness, said.
Residents can call 973-733-4311 for city animal control services and 973-377-2295 to reach St. Hubert’s.
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