Hudnut: Jersey City should follow NYC by offering animal care and handling courses to pet care providers

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Jersey City Chief Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut, also a Ward E council candidate running on Mayor Steven Fulop’s ticket, is calling on the city to follow New York City’s lead by offering animal care and handling courses to pet care providers.

Mac the dog. Photo via GoFundMe.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Many people adopted pets during the pandemic and now as they return to work, they are relying on pet care services that are both safe and affordable,” Hudnut, also the chair of the mayor’s quality of life task force, said in a statement.

“Jersey City residents deserve peace of mind that those who they entrust to care for their pets do so safely and responsibly. Offering this course at no cost to animal care providers will accomplish just that while at the same time not burdening local businesses with additional operational costs during these tough economic times.”

In NYC, all pet shops and businesses that sell, groom or board cats, dogs or other small animals must complete a 12 hour, city-run course in animal care and handling – which costs $39.

Hudnut is proposing that Jersey City’s Department of Health and Human Services implement this same course and subsidize enrollment costs through grant funding from Dog Trust USA, at zero cost to local business and taxpayers.

His suggestion comes in light of the tragic story of Mac, a Mini Goldendoodle who died after he went missing from a pet sitter’s care.

The Jersey City Police Department is currently investigating the incident and the Jersey City Prosecutor’s Office has the ability to prosecute animal abuse and cruelty cases in court.