East Monmouth County, NJ

Monmouth County, New Jersey, is in the center of the state and has about 630,000 human residents. It is a county of many small cities and boroughs, with its largest municipality having a population of 67,000. The Monmouth County SPCA (MCSPCA) is a private organization that has contracted with many of the cities and boroughs in Monmouth County to provide animal sheltering services for strays.  The shelter has adoption centers in Eatontown and Freehold.

The municipalities served by the MCSPCA are almost all in the eastern part of the county. These municipalities include: Atlantic Highlands (population approximately 4,000), Eatontown (13,000), Fair Haven (6,000), Highlands (5,000), Holmdel (17,000), Little Silver (6,000), Long Branch (31,000), Middletown (67,000), North Middletown (3,000), Ocean Township (27,000), Red Bank (12,000), Rumson (7,000), Sea Bright (1,000), Shrewsbury (4,000), Spring Lake Heights (5,000), and West Long Branch (8,000). There are 12 communities with 5,000 or more population served by the MCSPCA, and each of these communities is listed separately in the sidebar. Adding up the totals of all these communities, the MCSPCA provides animal sheltering services for a population of more than 216,000 people.

The MCSPCA also takes in owner surrenders by appointment. I called the shelter to get details on their owner surrender policy, and was told that they do not turn any animal away unless, in their judgment, the animal should be euthanized due to severe behavioral issues or untreatable suffering. In that case they recommend that the owner take the animal to the vet for humane euthanasia.

In 2011 the MCSPCA had a live release rate of 94% calculated by comparing live releases to euthanasias, and 90% calculated against total intake. Their intake was over 4500 animals. The shelter’s Annual Report for 2012 showed a 94% live release rate, with a modified live release rate (including died/lost in shelter care) of 93%. Total intake for the year was 4467. The Annual Report recounts how the shelter helped with the Hurricane Sandy relief effort by taking in 150 animals stranded by the storm and by distributing 300,000 pounds of food. In other news for 2012, the shelter opened an offsite adoption center at a mall and adopted out over 700 animals.

As of this writing the shelter has not posted an Annual Report for 2013. Statistics reported to the state of New Jersey showed an intake of 3538 animals for 2013 with a live release rate of 93%.

Monmouth County, NJ, was originally listed by this blog on April 15, 2013, based on its 2012 statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2013 statistics.

Ocean City, NJ

Ocean City is a resort town located in Cape May County, near the southern tip of New Jersey. The town has 12,000 year-round residents, but in the summer the population swells to as much as 130,000 people with an influx of visitors and part-time residents.

The Humane Society of Ocean City (HSOC), a private non-profit, provides animal control and sheltering for Ocean City. The shelter accepts owner surrenders by appointment, and I was told in a telephone call to the shelter that it has a waiting list. HSOC has a full-service veterinary clinic that provides low-cost care by appointment. The shelter also offers an “Affordable Spay/Neuter Clinic.”

Public shelters in New Jersey report to the state’s Department of Health, which provides an annual county-by-county summary. A shelter’s individual report may be obtained by request from the state. The report for calendar year 2012 for HSOC shows that the shelter did very well, with a 97% live release rate. Intake was 179 animals, including 82 owner surrenders and 74 strays. The shelter reported that no animals died or were lost in shelter care. The shelter did not report any owner-requested euthanasias. In 2013, intake was 194 cats and dogs. The live release rate was 99%.

Ocean City, NJ, was originally listed by this blog on October 3, 2013, based on its 2012 statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2013 statistics.

Cape May County, NJ

Cape May County is a coastal resort area on the southern tip of New Jersey. It has almost 100,000 permanent residents, but the population increases greatly during vacation season. It has several townships (Lower (population 23,000), Middle (19,000), Upper (12,000), and Dennis (6000)) and the city of Wildwood (5000) as well as several smaller cities and boroughs. The county seat is in Middle Township. Ocean City (population 12,000) is at the county’s northern border.

Animal control and sheltering for the entire county, with the exception of Ocean City, is provided by the municipal Cape May County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center (CMCAS). CMCAS also accepts owner surrenders from county residents, with an appointment and a small fee.

In an interview in January 2011, shelter director Judy Davies reported that CMCAS had euthanized 8 percent of its dogs and 10 percent of its cats in 2010, compared to rates as high as 75% in previous years. The shelter reported a 7.5% euthanasia rate in 2011. The shelter does not post its statistics online, but Davies sent me the shelter’s statistics for 2012, which show a 91% live release rate with intake of 1157 dogs and cats. The statistics do not record any owner-requested euthanasias or animals who died or were lost in shelter care. The 2013 statistics reported by the shelter to the state of New Jersey show a save rate of 92%, with an intake of 1094 animals.

A big part of the county’s success is its trap-neuter-return program for feral cats, which was instituted in 2001 and is reported to have reduced the number of feral cat complaints by 80%. A group called the Animal Alliance of Cape May County holds low-cost TNR clinics. County leaders showed their dedication to the program in 2007 and 2008 when they negotiated compromise wildlife conservation rules that allowed the program to continue.

CMCAS director Judy Davies noted in the 2011 interview that the county’s intake is considerably lower than neighboring counties. The TNR program is certainly a factor in this lower intake, but Davies also attributed it to the shelter’s pet retention programs: “What we’re doing a lot more of is working with the owners of dogs. Someone might want to relinquish the dog to the shelter because it requires vet care they can’t afford or they just can’t afford the animal because of the economy. We intervene and try to help people.”

There are several private organizations that are very active in Cape May County, including the Paws & Claws Society (PACS), Beacon Animal Rescue (BAR),  Animal Outreach of Cape May County, and the Animal Welfare Society of Cape May County. PACS has a suite of programs including pet retention and adoption programs.

The Humane Society of Ocean City (HSOC) provides animal control and sheltering for Ocean City, and it has a high live release rate. I will report on Ocean City in a separate article.

Cape May County was originally listed by this blog on April 26, 2013, based on its 2012 statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2013 statistics.