Mr. Dennis McNerney
Bergen County Executive
ONE Bergen County Plaza Floor 5 Room 580
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Sub: Petition to kill the 90-day policy at the Bergen
County Animal Shelter (BCAS)
Dear Mr. McNerney,
We, the undersigned, consider the current practice of
euthanizing perfectly healthy dogs, cats and other animals at the
Bergen County Animal Shelter after a period of 90 days (counted from
the day they are available for adoption at the Shelter), to be inhuman and a gross misuse of public and taxpayer resources.
Based on our consultation with animal experts and other shelter systems around the country, we find that the strict 90-day guidelines handed down by your office to BCAS do not fit the legal definition of euthanasia.
In this petition, we hope to convince you that cats and dogs deserve a more flexible, individual and case-by-case population control approach than their sheer numbers as one may use for controlling the mosquito or rodent population of Bergen County.
Currently, your office assigns a 90-day ticking clock as soon as a
cat or a dog become available for adoption at BCAS. This practice does not take into account anything about the animal itself: its breed, health,
background, circumstances, chances of finding a suitable home or
rescue, etc. The only thing that matters that it has 90 days to find
a home or it will be terminated. Even if "Lassie" walked through the
doors of BCAS with an injured leg and took 91 days to recover, she
will not be able to go to a loving home because of the strict 90-day
policy! You will have to end Lassie's life even though she is a
highly adoptable pet! I hope that you see our primary objection to
the 90-day policy - it has made all animals at BCAS living on a
When we talked to FOCAS (Friends of the County Animal Shelter, a
volunteer organization dedicated to animal welfare and adoption)
volunteers about adoptions at BCAS, we were told that many dogs and
cats used to be routinely adopted to loving families, retirement
homes and community service organizations after 90 days. However, the
recent requirement of enforcing the 90-day policy by your office has
made this impossible.
We understand the need for animal population control given the
limited resources and budgetary constraints for social and welfare
services. However, as residents of Bergen County, we would like to
see a more balanced approach that blends increased adoption rates of
homeless pets with population control.
In order to raise public awareness of this issue among the residents
of Bergen County, we plan to hold several town hall meetings in towns
that have contracted animal welfare and population control services
with BCAS. We invite you or a representative from your office to
attend these meetings so that the residents of Bergen County can
discuss the best possible ways to achieve animal control as well as
increased adoption rates of shelter pets with your office.
Thank you very much for your time to listen to our voices.