It has been a great two years sitting on the Board as the Central Regional Director, and I am honored that my peers have now nominated me to become Vice President of NJCACOA. While the last year with the Covid Pandemic has caused stress for our professional lives, as well as personal lives, we are all continuing to make our way through it. Together as an Association we can provide support to each other in times of crisis.
When Covid first hit there was so much unknown especially in the workplace. While the State of New Jersey closed all non-essential businesses, we as Animal Control Officers continued working. While we are not recognized as first responders or essential at times; that is exactly what WE ARE!! As our residents fell ill and were hospitalized we provided their animals with care and supplies. For our residents who lost their lives we went in, saved their pets, and found them homes. We continued to respond to homes day in and day out throughout the pandemic to save the sick, injured, lost, and any other animal related emergency. Most of us did this with limited supplies and protective gear. We continued to do our jobs with no complaints, no preparation, and for most of us zero guidance from the State. I could not be more proud of my fellow ACOs that have weathered this storm. Together as an Association we can get through anything. We can assist each other and support each other no matter what the situation.
Animal Control is such a diverse profession that is very often misunderstood. My goals as acting Vice President is to have some of the New Jersey State Statutes that pertain to Animal Control and Animal Welfare amended along with having the state recognize US as the FIRST RESPONDERS that we are; to make sure that both current and future animal control officers and most importantly the public is educated on what it is we do every day; that working animal control officers always act professionally and are continually receiving education and training; and most importantly, on and off the job support.
The association is the driving force behind Animal Control in the State of New Jersey, my involvement as NJCACOA Vice President will allow me to ensure that my fellow Officers are getting the right advice when they need it, and the continued education that will help guide them through new State statutes, emergency situations, and the animal (both domestic and wild) issues we face throughout New Jersey.