Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Gimme (a well-run regional) shelter'

Animal shelters are in the news. The idea of a regional shelter, serving Hopewell, Lawrence and Ewing, resurfaced this week in Hopewell Township, where a tract off Reed Road has been ID’d as a potential site for the facility.

Such a place would immediately improve the chances of animals that now are “sheltered” by the Hopewell Valley Vet Group, where they can stay for seven days only before being euthanized. The pressure is now on volunteer rescue groups to place such animals before their time runs out, but ironically, the vet group’s facility doesn’t allow people to come in and see the animals up for adoption.

Ewing’s shelter has been the cause of great unrest during the last year, and lacking one at all, Lawrence uses the Trenton shelter – the reason for last week’s demonstration at Trenton’s City Hall. So if a new shelter is approved, its three possible beneficiaries have already proven their need for its existence.

The group known as EASEL, or Ewing Animal Shelter Extension League, supports a regional no-kill animal shelter in Mercer County, one that some reports indicate EASEL wants to run. Exactly how and by whom that would be done, how staff members would be qualified and how EASEL defines “no kill,” which means different things to different people – are among the myriad questions that deserve detailed answers if this regional shelter idea begins to move toward reality.

With luck – and credible leadership, lots of persistence and money to do it right – maybe 2010 will be the year when Mercer County's animal shelters take a giant step forward.

No comments: