Since last September, the Society has met with members of the Monmouth County Freeholders to discuss raising the $8,300 we receive for being available and responding to any and all animal-related emergencies 24/7. As requested, we gave them reports, statistics, white papers, and they have met with our lawyers, lobbyists, etc. and advised that they knew nothing about our requests over the 10 month period of letters, calls and e-mails. They never responded to any requests so as of August 1st, the AHS can no longer afford to use our resources without additional funds. The ASBURY PARK PRESS ran an article on July 31st and this is our response:
Thanks to reporter Nina Rizzo for the article on the services for Monmouth County. We have given many, many records, reports, etc. for the Monmouth County Freeholders over the past few years.The Associated Humane Societies keeps records of any animals that come through our doors; however, we do not keep computer records for emergency calls if no animals are brought in. Such calls are made part of the ACO's time sheets for our internal records.
The records for the emergency calls to noncontractual towns are if we take in animals. We do not keep records when we had to assist a swan that had fishing lines wrapped around the neck. This occurred in a Middletown park. It took us 3 days to finally extricate her from the line as she was with her family.
On Christmas Eve, the AHS was called to Riverview Hospital in Red Bank to take a service dog from a woman who was suicidal. The woman refused to temporarily release the dog and it was a 3 hour stand-off until the dog was eventually given to us. Within a day or two, we brought the dog to the woman when she was transferred to Centra State. We also visited the woman's home to feed her cat over a few weeks. All of this was done over many hours and several days - and we received no compensation nor did we expect it.
We go out on request of social service agencies when an elderly person is going to be hospitalized, or go to a nursing home. We assist with victims of domestic violence who have pets, Fire and Police.
We have gone out to assist the local animal enforcement by using our ambulances. We receive no compensation and the time and effort involved is part of a time sheet of our internal records.
Some of the shelters in Monmouth County will only take a few cats at a time or have a "waiting list" of when you can bring in an animal. This leaves pet owners to deal with such heartbreaking efforts to their own devices. These are the situations when frantic animal lovers will come to us.
By law, all towns must have animal control although there are some that do not. If they have a service, it may not always be available which is when AHS assists.
Associated Humane Societies has always been there for sick and injured domestic animals, wildlife, and farm animals including a pig at Longstreet Farm which is now at our Tinton Falls facility.
We have tried to work with the Monmouth County Freeholders to no avail. The Society is "one-stop shopping" for animal care and control services. We handle everything including the monitoring of marine mammals that land on the beaches, and we monitor their safety until Marine Mammal Stranding Center arrives.