Burlington County announces shelter will open fully on weekends
WESTAMPTON– Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield and Assemblyman Ryan Peters applauded the efforts of local residents and animal lovers for banding together and making a change in the lives of cats and dogs in Burlington County.
The 8th District legislators called on the Burlington County Board of Commissioners to open the Burlington County Animal Shelter to the public, yesterday afternoon. They circulated a letter that asked people to call the county and plead their case. The response was so massive overnight that the County Commissioners announced it would open for regular operating hours on weekends.
“We thank every resident who called into the county to make their voices heard and Burlington County for listening to our pleas and making this decision. When I heard from countless people that the animal shelter was full and pets were in danger of being euthanized, we had to step up the pressure to make a change,” Stanfield said.
“While we will continue to push for Burlington County to open its shelter for visitors seven days a week, we are grateful that a concession was made to open for walk-ins on weekends. I would also be remiss if I didn’t thank the volunteers at the shelter for their continued devotion to the cats and dogs that we call family,” Stanfield continued.
Prior to today, the Burlington County Animals Shelter was operating through appointments only on a reduced schedule from noon-3:30 p.m. Many residents called and wrote to the assembly members that they feared animals would have to be put down because the shelter was at capacity, but the appointment-only viewing was making it difficult to adopt.
“As a society, we’ve all had to learn how to safely operate while opening our businesses back up. I found it unacceptable that visitors to the county shelter were getting turned away because they didn’t schedule a specific appointment to look at a specific animal. Oftentimes when people visit a shelter, they fall in love with an animal on the spot and wind up taking them home. The county’s policies pretty much eliminated these chance encounters.,” Peters said.
“When these animal’s lives are on the line, they don't have the luxury to follow an unnecessary, appointment-only Covid policy. I’m glad the Burlington County Board of Commissioners and Health Commissioner Herb Conaway listened to all of us and made this concession, but they need to be opening up fully with enhanced safety precautions like the rest of the service-based economy,” he continued.