Following the publication of our last newsletter, we received an
e-mail from the New Jersey Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators (NJAWR)
regarding their dissatisfaction over our asking folks to support NJ
Senate Bill S2325.
Bill S2325 was brought to our attention by Save Wildlife
Rehabilitators who are also from New Jersey.
Save Wildlife Rehabilitators summarized it this way:
· “The Associated Humane Society of NJ has initiated this Bill
along with Sen. Ellen Karcher. Please show your support by writing
letters of support to Sen. Ellen Karcher, 400 West Main St. 3rd Floor,
Freehold, NJ 07728
S 2325 establishes a New Jersey Wildlife Rehabilitation Licensing
Study Commission, to study, evaluate and develop recommendations for
implementing the most effective means to increase and maintain the
number of licensed wildlife rehabilitators in a manner that will provide
responsible wildlife services to all areas of the State.
Wildlife rehabilitators are volunteers who care for orphaned and
injured wildlife until they can be released back to nature. While
licensed by State of NJ, they receive no payment/fees for their
services, and absorb the costs of transportation, caging, specialized
diets and veterinary care out of their personal finances, with
occasional donations and grants.
Currently, there are not enough wildlife rehabilitators to serve the
needs of NJ’s Wildlife and/or to provide humane alternatives for
residents that are dealing with disabled and injured animals.
· In 2002, there were 94 rehabbers, handling over 18,300 animals
and 46,000 phone calls.
· In 2004, there were 52 rehab licenses issued, yet the numbers of
calls for help with Wildlife have increased.
· Increasing the number of responsible rehabilitators means no more
cost to taxpayers and it provides more care for the injured and/or
disabled wild animals that are found by the public. Thank you for your
For more information contact: Save Wildlife Rehabilitators, 71
Lincoln Avenue, Neptune City, NJ 07753
For those who would like to see the Assembly text of this Bill (the
Senate link refers to the Assembly Bill), the link is below.
The letter to us from NJAWR, which we noted had been cc’d to the NJ
Division of Fish and Wildlife, said that we should ask legislators to
not support the bill. Their reason was that it’s important to raise
standards among rehabilitators and that the lower number of licensed
wildlife rehabilitators in the state simply reflected a national trend
due to lack of finances.
We are reprinting excerpts from a letter- to-the-editor of the
Atlantic Highland Herald in support of Bill S2325 with the author’s
permission. The emphasis is ours.
· The rehabilitator’s public plea for support of legislation that
promotes consistency and expediency for wildlife rehabilitators to
perform their free to taxpayer service was born out of necessity…there
is only one rehabber left who is geographically accessible [to the
many callers]. This is the same rehabber that the President of NJAWR
chose to malign in his letter to your paper. Another rehabilitator who
served at no cost to local veterinarians and residents in my area, and
to whom I turned to for over 20 years, did not have her license
renewed due to the new bureaucratic rules that have yet, to the best
of my knowledge, to be published for public comment in the NJ
· The President of NJWAR admits his organization is joined at the
hip with the State Division of Fish and Wildlife. Therefore, he cannot
be objective. Fish and Wildlife (F&W) historically benefits from
revenues collected for hunting licenses and fishing permits. In this
specific situation, a government agency that has vested financial
interests has a conflict of interest when administering rules. The
issuing of Wildlife Rehabilitation Permits is contrary to the F&W
fundamental mandates for controlling wildlife populations and
facilitating the recreational pursuits of sportsmen.
· If there were 92 permitted rehabilitators, as the writer claims
in the year 2000 and there are now only 52 as the writer alleges,
apparently there is something wrong with the process/ system if only a
little more than half are active in 2005.
· Wildlife rescue, treatment, care and release should be designated
to an agency that is concerned with the public’s health, welfare and
well-being. State elected and appointed officials should reassign
these responsibilities to another authority to best represent the
public that seeks a humane alternative for dealing with injured and/or
· The President of NJAWR should reconsider his thinking. To better
serve the purpose of wildlife care and for wildlife rehabilitators,
positive action must be taken to retain rehabbers who have served
wildlife and the public for years, and are able to share their
hands-on experience, knowledge and skills with those who follow. …To
undermine a free to NJ taxpayers service with divisive accusations
does not serve the taxpayers’ or the state wildlife’s best interest.
Please dismiss the NJAWR President’s directive to oppose legislation
that helps wildlife rehabilitators. In this highly contested election
year, it is imperative for the voter to contact elected officials and
hopeful candidates to tell them to support the pending bills/legislation
that would facilitate and not hinder those aspiring to be wildlife
Animalrehabilitatorsalliance@yahoo.com to learn more about
Former Deputy Mayor and Committeewoman Holmdel Township, Planning
Board Member, Environmental Commission Chair current Zoning Board
Vice-Chair and Bayshore Regional Sewage Authority Commissioner.