05/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

PHOTOS: Jersey City?s Pet Ownership Day

All photos: Steve Gold

Yesterday in front of City Hall, more than 400 animals showed up for Jersey City’s first annual Pet Ownership Day to receive free microchips, rabies vaccinations and nail clippings. While lines stretched around the block at times, pets and owners remained patient. Liberty Humane Society, which helped put together the event with the city, says it administered about 200 microchips and 250 rabies vaccines.

As part of the festivities, Mayor Healy presented Liberty Humane with a proclamation officially making April 19 Pet Day in the city. Reached today, he said he was “pleased with the success” of the day.

“We are committed to helping our residents get the services they need for the pets, who are like a part of the family,” Healy says, “and to helping the Liberty Humane Society continue the important role it plays in our community.”

Liberty Humane development director Janet Russell says that the day helped scores of families save big bucks on pet services, noting that microchipping alone can cost $200 at a veterinarian. Money for the services came from a variety of sources, including the nonprofit Healy Foundation and the Friends of Liberty State Park. Liberty Humane supplied 20 volunteers, and staffers from the city’s Cultural Affairs office lent a hand as well.

“I felt it was a home run for the city and something we should do annually — if not twice a year — to make sure our animals are protected and that our residents are informed about the services we can provide them,” Russell says.

That sentiment was echoed by the newest member of Liberty Humane’s board of directors, Scotty Eckert.

“I have lived in Jersey City a long time, and for me yesterday’s event was quite special,” she says. “I experienced a strong sense of community with a variety of people sharing a common love felt for our companion animals.”


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