Pet adoption

Pet adoption still a good idea, but COVID stories from NJ shelters vary

The early months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been stereotyped as a time to catch up on Netflix, order takeout pizza, adjust to working from home, and cut yourself off from the outside world.

Another trend quickly emerged: a spike in pet adoptions that seemed to be as pronounced in New Jersey as anywhere else in the country.

Garden State shelters say the pace has slowed in the two years since, but their own specific circumstances have also been affected by the health crisis, and in different ways.

At the Monmouth County SPCA in Eatontown, executive director Ross Licitra said the animal population was lower across the board than in the past.

“We’re at an all-time high with cats right now at the shelter,” Licitra said. “Normally we have several hundred cats in the shelter, and at the moment we are down to about 20.”

The same isn’t true for the St. Hubert Animal Welfare Center, though communications director Diane Ashton said some of that was down to COVID, forcing St. Hubert to consolidate its adoption services only at its main Madison branch.

“Our shelters are full, they’re at capacity, there’s always a need for adopters,” Ashton said. “So I think that would be the title is to always encourage people to adopt or adopt.”

Licitra joined Ashton in telling New Jerseyans to keep adopting or adopting, and the two also debunked reports and rumors of pandemic pets being turned away en masse.

It happens, Licitra said, but usually not on a whim.

“What we’re seeing is a lot of behavioral abandonment, people coming back to the shelter looking for advice on behavioral issues, especially with their dogs,” he said, adding that at As human life has returned to normal, pets that have entered homes in the past two years don’t know what “normal” is.

Also a factor: financial hardship brought on by COVID-related job instability, which may have caused residents to abandon pet-friendly homes.

As a general rule, says Ashton, puppies and kittens are always adopted and always will be. But it’s those animals that stay longer – either with behavioral issues, or older, or larger – that take up shelter space when they and the facility better be encouraged, even for a short period.

“Your shelter is full of animals, lots of dogs that are staying longer, so you can’t bring in as many dogs as you used to,” Ashton said.

Before or after the pandemic, Licitra said, owning a pet is a huge, albeit worthwhile, responsibility that could last 15 years or more, and should be carefully considered by the whole family.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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NJ County Fairs are making a comeback: Check out the schedule for 2022

UPDATE 4/10: A current list of county fairs happening in the Garden State for 2022. From rides, food, animals and hot air balloons, each county fair has something unique to offer.

(Fairs are listed in geographic order from South NJ to North NJ)

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn’t have to be just the beach. Our state has incredible trails, waterfalls and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to New Jersey’s hidden gems, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it’s a great workout.

Before you hit the trails and explore some of the suggestions from our listeners, I have a few tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you descend and encounter an uphill hiker, pull to the side and give the uphill hiker some space. An uphill hiker has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless marked as an official trail, avoid them. Going off the trail, you risk damaging the ecosystems around the trail, the plants and wildlife that live there.

You also don’t want to disturb any wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Cyclists must yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also give in to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you’ll encounter on New Jersey trails.

If you plan to take your dog on your hike, they must be on a leash and be sure to clean up all pet waste.

Finally, pay attention to the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it’s probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions on the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

Municipal tax bill for every city and town in NJ, filed

Just under 30 cents of every $1 of property taxes collected in New Jersey supports municipal services provided by cities, townships, boroughs, and villages. Statewide, the average municipal tax bill alone in 2021 was $2,725, but that varied widely from over $13,000 in Tavistock to nothing in three townships. In addition to the $9.22 billion in taxes for municipal purposes, special tax districts that in some locations provide municipal services such as fire protection, garbage collection or economic development collected 323, $8 million in 2021.


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