Father John’s Animal House and Wantage deal still pending

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The report in the News announcer that Father John’s animal house could accommodate animals from Wantage’s pound needs to be clarified, Father John’s manager said.

“It was a bit presumptuous,” Garret Barcheski told the newspaper. “We have had a meeting, but there is still a lot to do if this comes to pass. We have received a number of calls asking how “we” are handling the Wantage pound. This is a complete misconception. We are a completely separate organization.

The article reported on the October 14 meeting of the Wantage Township committee. No Father John’s representative was present at the meeting, at which committee member Ron Bassani said any animal that remains in the Wantage Pound for seven days, and is about to be euthanized, will be sent. to Father John’s, who will attempt to move the animal for adoption.

“We left our conversation regarding the possible partnership with which I needed to see the statistics,” Barcheski said. “We don’t know how much they take and from which cantons. I was waiting to see the numbers so that we could reasonably and honestly say we could take it or not. I just received them two days ago and have done extensive research on the funds allocated to animal control in Wantage as well as all the other municipalities in the county. Each municipality is required to have at least one animal control officer.

Bassani said in an email that he would rather wait for comment until “we finalize some details.”

Father John’s Animal House is a non-profit organization that depends on donations from the community. Father John’s is a shelter, not a pound, which means he not only feeds his animals, but takes care of their veterinary needs, gets them exercised and, if necessary, rehabilitates them for adoption. A pound is more of a place of detention for found animals.

In August, Wantage terminated the employment of its animal control manager for confidential reasons.

Saving lives takes money

New Jersey Coven Member Parker Space, as owner of the Space Farms Zoo and Museum, knows a lot about animals and applauds both books and shelters for welcoming them.

“Father John’s is a great organization and we’ve worked with them in the past,” Space said. “I’m sure they want to help the Wantage Pound, but it takes money to feed and care for the animals, and they’re a non-profit.”

He said that if Father John’s were to accept animals from Wantage, “something would have to be found to pay for the feeding and the rehabilitation. It’s like I’m in the fire department. Space has been a volunteer firefighter since 1989. “We all volunteer and rely on the city to pay for the equipment.

Karen Reed is an Animal Control Officer at Wantage.

“Since the animal control official was fired in August, my coworker and I (Mike Flood) have been running the show,” she said. “We are under the administration and the county committee.

In the Advertiser News report, Bassani referred to the establishment of a trap, sterilization and release (TNR) program for feral cats, which she said is “one of the most big problems of the canton in the management of homeless animals “.

“We were furious about this because a TNR does not currently exist, and we animal control officers serve eight cities with part-time employees,” Reed said. “We think we are doing a great job with a limited number of employees.

She is a strong supporter of Father John’s and believes they should be compensated.

“Since the animal control official was fired, no animals have been euthanized and will not be unless a veterinarian determines it is necessary,” Reed said. “Father John’s has always helped us when we’ve had an adoptable pet for two or three months, and they would take it because they have much better foot traffic and are so well known in the community. Every time they take an animal from us or some other pound, they take and do all the vet work. If Father John’s wants to welcome these animals, they have to make some kind of agreement that when we transfer animals there is a fee paid to the shelter.

Reed said she had “heard through the vineyard” that next January, the Wantage pound would only check animals in three cities. Barcheski also heard this.

700 animals so far this year

“Everyone is scrambling,” Barcheski said. “Every city is legally required to provide animal control. “We are currently providing impounding services for Sparta, so if their animal control officer finds a stray animal, they bring it here. So far this year, we’ve collected 31 lost dogs and kept them until their owners got them back.

Father John’s mission is to be a place for community members to take their pets when hardship means they can no longer care for them.

“So far this year we have taken 223 cats and 33 dogs that need to be relocated,” Barcheski said. “We don’t want to turn away those people who have been through hardship and cannot feed their animals or take them to the vet. The 223 cats and 33 dogs are only from Sussex County residents who have had to abandon their pets. In total, we have collected over 700 animals this year to date.

Barcheski believes Sussex County needs to find its balance.

“It is the legal mandate of every city to serve pets, but Father John’s mission is to serve our local community when it can no longer take care of pets,” he said. declared. “Taking more can’t compromise that, so we have to be sure that we don’t get overloaded.”

Father John’s contracts with Sparta to provide space for stray dogs and cats from Sparta and Andover.

Meanwhile, the proposed coalition between Wantage and Father John’s is on the line, pending further talks and a firm contractual agreement.


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