Residents Challenge Long Branch City Council to Rethink Animal Control Contract

In a recent meeting of the Long Branch City Council, residents voiced strong objections to the renewal of the city’s contract with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). This issue dominated the meeting, with two residents giving emotional testimonies about negative experiences with the SPCA’s services.

One resident, Vincent Laort, cited “several severe incidents” that happened in Long Branch under the SPCA’s watch, particularly involving deer in the Elberon neighborhood. He claimed that the State Veterinary Medical Examiners Board found grounds for the State Attorney General’s office to investigate the SPCA’s responses to these incidents. Laort suggested that instead of renewing the SPCA contract, the city should put them on a per-call contract when needed, similar to other towns in Mammoth County. He also advocated for hiring a part-time city animal control officer to assist the existing full-timer.

Another resident, Kate Burns, shared a personal and traumatic experience with two loose dogs that attacked and killed her pet. Burns claimed that the SPCA, who were on duty that day, refused to respond to multiple emergency calls. She had to go through a series of rabies shots because the SPCA didn’t investigate whether the attacking dogs were vaccinated. Burns pointed out that the SPCA’s lack of response violated New Jersey regulations requiring animal control to respond to emergency calls.

In response to the testimonies, council members expressed their condolences to Burns, with Councilman Mario Vieira commenting, “I really feel bad for what happened to you. It touches us.”

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

John Pallone
City Council Officials:
Rose Widdis, Dr. Mary Jane Celli, Bill Dangler, Mario Vieira, Dr. Anita Voogt

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