Town Orders Kimmy’s Safe Haven Rescue Limited to Three Dogs

Little Egg Harbor Township Enforces Ordinance
Dec 05, 2018
Photo by: Pat Johnson Kim Brown with one of her special needs cats at the Little Egg Harbor Branch of the Ocean County Library.

Kim Brown, owner of Kimmy’s Safe Haven Rescue in Little Egg Harbor, has been given a citation for “running an unlicensed shelter” and told she can have no more than three dogs on her property.

She was informed in person by township Code Official Michael Fromosky that she was violating a township law by having more than three dogs on her less than 1-acre property in a development off Mathistown Road.

Rescue volunteer Alice Barber said the code does not give a definition of a shelter. “Our contention is that a 501.(c)(3) nonprofit should have its own ordinance to allow more than three dogs and to allow current and potential animal fosters (homes) the same courtesy,” Barber said.

During a Nov. 29 meeting at the Little Egg Harbor Branch of the Ocean County Library, Brown said her rescue should be treated differently than a shelter because she doesn’t keep dogs in her care long, instead finding foster or permanent homes as quickly as she can. But she does admit there are some animals that are difficult to place, such as Cinders, a 12-year-old Lab mix with a skin problem and no hair on her back. Brown has been treating the dog after taking it from a shelter where it was on track to be euthanized.

Also, two little “snappy” dogs that had been adopted suddenly came back to Brown after one of their owners died and the wife couldn’t care for them anymore.

“What am I supposed to do when people say they can’t keep them?” she questioned.

That unexpected event came after Brown got her citation and put her over the three-dog limit to five dogs, so she asked a foster family to take her own personal dogs for a while until she can stabilize the behavior of Lulu and Ollie.

She can keep as many cats as she wants comfortably in the cat rescue room built in her basement, she said, but a neighbor has complained about the number of dogs.

There was a time over the summer when Brown did have an influx of puppies. “I was at an adoption event and a man said he had 13 puppies and would I take them? I normally don’t take kittens or puppies because they are easier for people to get rid of, but this man was begging me.”

But first she and her volunteers insisted the man fix his male and female dogs so there would be no more puppies. And they adopted the puppies quickly, but not just to anyone.

Brown does home visits first and follow-up visits. “I’ve gone to Staten Island and Pennsylvania to do home visits,” she said.

Volunteer Joanne Carr said, “I love her. She really cares. I had my own rescue at one time so I know how it is,” she said. “People don’t know how much she is doing for the township.”

For instance, Brown and her volunteers will trap feral cats, pay to neuter them and get them rabies shots, tip their ears and try to socialize them for adoption. “Right now I am trapping cats out behind Pinelands Regional,” said Brown.

If the township’s animal control took the cats to the Ocean County Shelter, it would cost the township if they didn’t get adopted right away.

“I pay between $2,000 and $4,000 a month for upkeep,” said Brown. “A lot comes out of my own pocket.”

During the meet and greet at the library, volunteers handed out petitions in support of Kimmy’s Safe Haven Rescue. Brown said she will be at the Dec. 13 township committee meeting to plead her case for a separate law regarding rescues and foster homes.

If she is not successful she could be charged a $2,000 fine per dog over the limit.

“I don’t know what I will do,” she said.

— Pat Johnson


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