The Toms River Township Council has established the position of a full-time kennel aid.
The council also authorized a salary for this position.
On Oct. 23, council members adopted two ordinances to provide for the full-time position. The kennel aide position will be part of the Division of Animal Control and the base salary will be $21,000.
According to the Department of Human Resources, a kennel aide is responsible for maintaining proper disease control protocols, including cleaning the facility, preparation of laundry, and general maintenance of the facility.
“The Division of Animal Control has always been short a kennel aide. The aides do not last because it is a very hard position. The Department of Human Resources could not make it a part-time position anymore. The position was needed,” said Jo Ann Benson, the director of health and human services for Toms River.
Benson thanked the council members for authorizing the position and said it has been needed for some time.
She said, “I am very grateful the council saw the need for this, as I do.”
She said she hopes to fill the position in the near future.
“Since the new animal shelter has been built, it has been much busier. For the last several years there has been a crucial need for more help,” Benson said.
The new animal shelter was built in 2013. It is a 7,000-square-foot facility on Oak Avenue next to the Toms River Police Department.
Benson said having a full-time kennel aide will allow the Department of Health and Human Services to reduce overtime.
She said she has had to use animal control officers on weekends and during the week when a kennel aide was not available.
“Being a kennel aide is a very dirty job and it takes time to teach someone. This full-time position will help us going forward,” Benson said.