Debbie Nagel, who then served as the borough’s backup animal control officer, with a raccoon pup rescued from a tree on Brown Place last May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Just six months in, Red Bank is rethinking its deal for animal control services with the Monmouth County SPCA.
The agreement generated a firestorm last spring, in part because it ended an in-house service provided by a borough employee who many residents praised for his dedication to the task.
The borough terminated its animal control response last June, when it shifted the work to the MCSPCA under a $4,800-per-month contract.
Longtime animal control officer Henry Perez was reassigned to another job in the public utilities department.
The pact called for the nonprofit to provide 24/7 responses to calls about loose or injured domestic animals, injured wildlife and nuisance animals, and to provide emergency veterinary services with some limitations, according to acting Business Administrator Darren McConnell.
It does not cover calls for service when bats, raccoons and other animals enter a home, unless it creates an emergency or dangerous situation, he said.
That contract is now expired, with the borough on a month-to-month arrangement under the same terms, McConnell told the council at its January 12 workshop session.
“The price is a little high,” based on the number of calls for service, he said. “I think there’s more cost savings to be had.”
McConnell did not offer details on the number of calls.
Councilman Michael Ballard called the costs per call “astronomical, more than we expected.”