Trenton Mayor Gusciora Asks for State Assistance for Animal Shelter

Council severs ties with private organization, leaves City scrambling to fill the void

April 11, 2022

TRENTON, N.J. – Today, Mayor W. Reed Gusciora sent a letter to Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver in her capacity as head of the State Department of Community Affairs asking for State assistance and intervention in animal shelter understaffing. The City Council voted down a vendor contract last week with Trenton Animals Rock (TAR), leaving the City without staffing in several key positions.

“TAR has been instrumental in our status of operating a ‘no-kill’ shelter, which is now in jeopardy,” Mayor Gusciora said in his letter to Lt. Gov. Oliver. “I have determined that a resolution to this matter requires utmost urgency for the sake of the animals embraced under the care of the City of Trenton animal shelter.”

Prior to Council’s action, TAR was supplementing City staff by providing veterinarian care (through a subcontractor), dog walkers, adoption services, community outreach, vet tech support, and training.

“While the Council Members who voted to reject the continuation of TAR’s services felt City employees and/or our four (4) animal control officers could now immediately perform such duties, this is simply not true,” Gusciora continued in his letter. “Moreover, this would require us hiring additional staff as well as contracting out for veterinarian services, an occurrence that is unlikely given our budgetary constraints and necessity for DCA’s approval under our MOU.”