Thursday, September 1, 2011
Mayor's take on no pets in shelters
As reported in the last post, Lawrence Township's message about emergency shelters said, “Pets are prohibited at all shelter locations and pet owners need to make prior arrangements for care.”
Believing that there must be better emergency management than this, I phoned the township manager asap Monday, August 29, and was referred to Mayor Greg Puliti.
In a phone talk that evening, he made the points below, ending with his intention to “raise the issue of animals” at the next Office of Emergency Management meeting (which sounded like an informal in-house affair a week or two after the event).
• Shelter rules are dictated by the event and what’s available at the time “where we can get people out of harm’s way.” As the or one shelter for Hurricane Irene, Rider University did not allow animals.
• “Our priority purpose,” Puliti said, “is to protect people.”
• He suggested there would be negative reactions by residents if the township spent $20,000 “for animals.”
• Hearing about Atlantic County’s decision 2 years ago to designate the AC race course as a regional pet-evacuation center, Puliti said he may raise this issue with the county executive.