It didn't take very long for the number of wildlife in New Jersey to find no assistance from the very agency that should be helping them. The N. J. Division of Fish & Game has set out on a path to reduce the number of wildlife rehabilitators in the state. As is always the case, it is the animals that suffer because of man's greed for control.
N. J. wildlife rehabilitators must be certified and presently, they are required to do a one year apprenticeship which is difficult, cumbersome, inconsistent, time consuming and we are not talking brain surgery here. Until now, homeowners, animal lovers and concerned citizens could call a wildlife rehabilitator who would rescue these animals at no expense to them or to the taxpayer.
In a recent case, a healthy baby raccoon brought to a wildlife care center was euthanized for no apparent reason but because it was the expedient thing to do
A pest control agency was using traps to remove wildlife during the summer days when the temperature was in the triple digits. Two groundhogs died from the heat. A nursing mother raccoon was taken out of an attic by another pest control agency. When they were called to advise that babies had been left behind, they advised the homeowner that everything would be okay. They could fend for themselves. By the time a wildlife rehabilitator became involved, all of the babies had died for lack of nourishment.
There is presently more than a 50% reduction in the number of wildlife rehabilitators in the state. They admirably perform this service AT NO COST TO MUNICIPALITIES OR TAXPAYERS, but due to the lack of rehabbers, many animals are dealt with in an inhumane and illegal manner. Senate Bill 3235 (Karcher) and Assembly Bill 3939 (Chiappone, Panter) would solve the problem in a fair and equitable manner. Please write to your legislators asking that they support this legislation. We have already gone through one breeding season and it has been unfair to the many animals that died as a result of lack of care for them.
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