Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Fair Lawn Hears County Proposal to Take over Animal Control

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Fair Lawn Hears County Proposal to Take over Animal Control

Article excerpt

FAIR LAWN -- The governing body heard a second option to replace its own in-house, four-member animal control department with services from Bergen County.

The county presented its proposal to the Fair Lawn Council on Tuesday night. The county would charge less than $42,000, or about $1.27 for each of the borough's approximately 33,000 residents, said Gregory Condal, fiscal operations officer for the county's health department.

The borough voted in January to outsource its animal control department, which manages the borough animal shelter. Many residents turned out at that meeting to oppose the move, saying they favor the personalized attention and care from the borough's officers.

The council and its manager say the move will save about $107,000 annually, but the current animal control officers say it could result in slower response times and loss of personal attention to residents. Fair Lawn appropriated $141,000 in its budget last year for animal control salaries and wages.

The county has 11 animal control officers who work throughout the towns. It also operates a shelter in Teterboro, which is open seven days a week and has on-staff veterinarians and health technicians to evaluate animals, said Nancy Mangieri, director of the county's Department of Health Services.

Mangieri said the county's services are available around the clock.

"If you call, you get one of our animal control officers that is there picking up the phone and ready to respond," she said.

Mangieri said that once the contract has been finalized with the borough, the price will not change and there are no hidden fees that come along with their service.

Should the borough contract with the county, the county would probably use Fair Lawn's pound -- one of the few remaining municipally owned kennels in the county -- as a temporary home for animals that cannot stay with their owners but will eventually be returned.

The county takes in animals during disasters -- such as the huge apartment complex fire in Edgewater -- and eventually returns them, said Deborah Yankow, manager of the shelter. …

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