First the bad news. Father John’s Animal House will not be taking over Wantage’s animal pound.
Committeeman Ron Bassani reported on Oct. 14 that, after a meeting with Father John’s shelter director, Garret Barcheski, it was not possible for the non-profit organization to take on the shelter.
The good news, Bassani said, is that Father John’s is willing to work in coordination with the township.
“We will continue to operate our pound, but we’ll do it in conjunction with Father John’s,” Bassani said.
Any animal who stays in the Wantage pound for seven days, and is poised to be euthanized, will be sent to Father John’s, which will try to move the animal out for adoption.
“It sounds like they’re eager to work with us,” Bassani said. “I think it will allow us to advertise to our citizens and the general public that we have a more elaborate game plan and are working with a proven source.”
Bassani said the township must consider a trap, neuter, and release program for feral cats, which is one of the township’s greatest problems in managing homeless animals.
“It seems to make good sense that if we can indeed catch all these cats and neuter them, then eventually the problem – I don’t know if it ever goes away – but it would be greatly diminished over time,” Bassani said.
He said that would be a start in turning around the image of Wantage’s pound.
Township resident Kathy Gorman suggested the township change the name of its pound to a “shelter,” as a way to rehabilitate its image.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Garret Barcheski’s name and to give his correct title.