The Jersey Shore Animal Center will no longer serve as the township’s animal shelter, nor will its staff serve as animal control officers in Brick.
With bills eclipsing $260,000 in recent years for animal control and sheltering services – more than other local communities have been paying – officials retooled how the township handles animal control and solicited bids under the new method. The winning bidder was A-Academy of South Jersey, based in Howell, to provide animal control services. The township will now use the Ocean County Animal Shelter as its shelter instead of Jersey Shore.
Previously, the township combined the two services – animal control and sheltering – under one contract. But in a survey conducted by officials of how other communities handle animals, the services were broken up into separate contracts that were each competitively bid.
A-Academy will charge a flat fee of $95,000 for animal control services which will cover all incidents Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Overnight calls on weekdays will be charged $125 per call, Saturday daytime calls will cost $140 and Saturday night calls will cost $150. Sunday calls under the contract will cost $175 each, while calls on township-observed holidays will cost $195 each.
The cost of sheltering an animal at the county shelter varies depending on species and size, said Joanne Bergin, the township administrator. The contract with the county shelter was passed as a shared services agreement with the county.
Bergin said both contracts will be in place for one year, and officials will review costs as 2015 draws to a close to determine any savings that was realized and if future contracts should be put out to bid in the same way as this year.
The vote to switch providers from the Jersey Shore Animal Center, which is based in Brick on Beaverson Boulevard, was not unanimous. Councilwoman Marianna Pontoriero cast the lone dissenting vote. After the meeting, Pontoriero urged Brick residents to continue to support the work of the center even though the township will no longer be using their services.
“They are a fabulous shelter,” said Pontoriero. “They are a wonderful crew there, they have wonderful people.”