New Toms River Animal Shelter Open to the Public PDF Print E-mail


Whitesville location is now closed


TOMS RIVER TOWNSHIP- The official ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Toms River Animal Shelter is still a few months away, but the interior of the facility is open and ready for pet adoptions.


The impressive two-million dollar facility, located at 235 Oak Avenue, next to the Police Station, shutters the antiquated facility on Whitesville Road. “The former location was close to Jackson Township and out of the way for a majority of our residents,” Mayor Tom Kelaher states. “This building not only modernizes the needs of an animal shelter, but it is centrally located for the residents of Toms River.”


Council President Maria Maruca, Councilman George Wittmann, Mayor Tom Kelaher, , JoAnn Benson (Director for the Division of Health and Human Services), Jim Bowen  (Division Manager of the Toms River Animal Facility) and Councilman Jeff Carr pose with Pearl, a little Maltipoo, at the new Toms River Animal Shelter.  (Photos: Debbi Winogracki)


As staff and volunteers continue to move in to the shelter, the empty shelves will soon be filled with cat and dog supplies such as pet food, leashes, kitty litter boxes, toys and basic pet supplies.


JoAnn Benson, the Director for the Division of Health and Human Services said “We are still working on many aspects of running an animal shelter, but the pets are now located here and ready for adoption.  Toms River residents can also get a pet license right here when they adopt an animal. All dogs over seven months of age need a license annually, at a cost of $15 for a spayed or neutered dog and $20 if the dog is not spayed or neutered. Cat licenses are $9 for a spayed/neutered cat and $12 for a non-spayed/ neutered cat.”


On discussing the modern facility, Division Manager of the Toms River Animal Facility, Jim Bowen, states “We have a cat isolation room and is it used for a 7-day hold on cats to make sure they’re free of disease before they’re released into the general population.  Also, some cats come in with respiratory infections, so we keep them in a separate room while they are under observation or taking medications.” In addition, there is an isolation room for aggressive dogs complete with a doggie door separation so staff can feed dogs and clean their room on one side without having to interact with the aggressive dog.


Council President Maria Maruca adds, “It’s taken a while to get to this point but we’ve filled the commitment that we made to our many residents that have asked for an upgraded animal shelter.  We’re fortunate to have a great staff and volunteers that will continue looking after the well-being of our furry friends.”


Mayor Kelaher states that the Animal Shelter has been a project many years in the making. “We have had the money set aside in our capital funds for a few years now. First, it took a while to find the perfect location. Then, we realized we could save a lot of money if we went out to bid at the same time as the estimate for the Municipal Courtroom expansion and Police façade improvement projects. Lastly, all work was put on hold after Sandy hit, so I’m happy that we’re finally able to bring this project to fruition.”


The Toms River Animal Shelter is one of only four remaining municipally-run shelters in New Jersey.


The new Toms River Animal Shelter is located at 235 Oak Avenue, next to the Police Station.


The staff will include five Animal Control Officers, two of whom are licensed Animal Cruelty Investigators,

one part-time kennel aid, and a new part-time clerk/cashier, along with 15 volunteers.


Animal Control is on-site 8:30-4:30 daily, but open to the public for adoptions on:

Tuesday-Sunday 1-4 pm

Wednesday 1-7 pm

Contact number 732-341-1000 ext. 7300


Free Rabies Clinic March 15

The Toms River Animal Shelter will host a free rabies clinic for cats and dogs on Saturday, March 15, 2014 from 10:00 am to noon.  Proof of a previous rabies shot is required to make the new shot last for three years.