Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitators save and relieve suffering of orphaned and injured animals at no cost to the taxpayers. They also educate the public on how to humanely handle wildlife encounters. By supporting A3695/S2740, you will help increase the number of available quality volunteer wildlife rehabilitators that are so desperately needed right now. This will not cost the taxpayers of New Jersey a dime.
Over the past ten years and through arduous conditions, the oversight of rehabbers through the Division of Fish and Wildlife has caused an alarming 93% decline in the number of volunteer rehabilitators. This puts a strain on the local wildlife, residents, as well as local township employees, such as animal shelters, and Animal Control officers. Part of the reason for this decline is the difficult standards required by Fish and Wildlife, which are sufficient for large-scale rehab centers, but not necessary for small,"backyard" rehabbers. For example, current Fish and Wildlife standards require a separate refrigerator, washing machine, and sink for rehabilitator use. This is not necessary, nor feasible, for volunteer rehabbers that handle only a small amount of animals per year, and receive no funding or reimbursement of any kind.
Those on the board of the Division of Fish and Wildlife do not actively participate in wildlife care and rehabilitation, and are detached from the cause. Supporting A3690 & S2740 would put the volunteer wildlife rehabilitators under the supervision of licensed veterinarians, animal cruelty officers, educated rehabilitators and trained volunteers, and out from under taxpayer paid state workers. A3690 & S2740 will save more wildlife, and taxpayer dollars.