For the past eight years, Mayor James Barberio has cost Parsippany taxpayers millions of dollars in ineffective policies, unnecessary programs and skyrocketing legal fees. So it should not be surprising that one such policy has led to thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs and nearly one thousand euthanized dogs and cats in Parsippany’s animal shelter.
Parsippany has one of the highest kill rates in the state of New Jersey. Indeed, under Mayor Barberio’s watch, over 980 dogs and cats have been killed in Parsippany’s animal shelter. (Source: New Jersey Department of Health Animal Population Control Program Shelter/Pound Annual Reports.) The fact of the matter is that there are more humane, as well as economical, approaches to dealing with the issue of adoptable pets. Michael Soriano, Janice McCarthy and Emily Peterson, running for Mayor and Town Council, believe that Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programs are the best long-term option for feral cats in Parsippany.
The administration’s current approach to dealing with the feral cat population is known as “catch-and-kill”. Not only are most of these dogs and cats perfectly healthy, and eligible for adoption, but catch-and-kill is a short-term, expensive and immoral program. Catch-and-kill costs taxpayers an estimated $150 dollars per animal put down.
Indeed, Parsippany’s catch-and-kill program is considered so inhumane that Hanover Township, a neighboring community also run by a Republican administration, consequently chose to pull out of their shared service agreement with our animal shelter costing Parsippany taxpayers much needed revenue.
TNR is a long-term solution to reducing the feral cat population in Parsippany. With a TNR program, cats are neutered before being returned to the wild, eliminating the persistent breeding problem. This provides a long-term solution to reducing the population of feral cats in Parsippany, without having to rely on kill shelters. From a fiscal standpoint, TNR programs cost just one-third the amount of catch-and-kill. Over the course of eight years, this could have saved Parsippany taxpayers over $100,000.
TNR programs have been implemented all over the country with great success. In New Jersey, Mt. Olive implemented its own TNR program in 2009. It has since eliminated 60% of its feral cat population. Mt. Olive used to spend upwards of $20,000 of taxpayer money to catch and kill these animals each year. With TNR, Mt. Olive saves $15,000 annually. Due to the proven reduction in the feral cat population, long-term economic benefits, and proven success of Mt. Olive’s program, we are advocating for a TNR program in Parsippany to replace our existing catch-and-kill method.
It is unfortunate that Mayor Barberio has not been looking outward for solutions to our persistently high taxes. As Mayor, Michael Soriano pledges to constantly seek out solutions that have been successfully implemented in other communities, no matter which party that solution has come from. Implementing a Trap-Neuter-Release program in Parsippany is one small step towards cleaning up Parsippany’s finances, making our municipal government a model for others to follow and making sure that we can all take pride in Parsippany.