Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Latest baby step toward animal shelter

The subject of a regional animal shelter has come up again. For how many years have area politicians been talking about it and animal activists arguing for it? In what millennium will there be a decent, credible, smoothly and humanely-run shelter for the countless animals in need around here?

First came the debate about buying land for a shelter. Now, Hopewell Township officials have added the 46-acre tract "between Reed Road and Route 31 near Denow Road" to a list of properties being considered for sewer service. (How tentative is all that?)

If you're thinking, Gee, this is going nowhere fast, here's proof: the township doesn't even own that tract yet. The thought is, Hopewell will buy the land and turn it over to a non-profit group to build and run the facility.

The non-profit group generally mentioned is the Ewing Animal Shelter Extension League, or EASEL, but that organization recently experienced a leadership shake up --maybe ultimately for the better, but still a shake up.

"Ewing, Lawrence and other municipalities have expressed an interest in sharing the facility." according to yesterday's Trenton Times story.

Meanwhile, the current Ewing shelter is often criticized and Lawrence doesn't even have a shelter, transporting strays and ferals to SAVE, in Princeton. In Hopewell itself, there's no forum for adoption, says a woman with Animal Allies rescue group.

"When your community doesn't have a shelter, your animals don't get seen [as possible adoptees]. It's seven days and down for them."

Right now, numbers of people seem to be (occasionally) talking, all in different directions, and nothing is really happening. Do we need a benevolent dictator to step in and turn the idea of an area animal shelter into a reality?

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