Delaware Valley News
New charity helps strays and pets
Thursday, July 10, 2008
By Kevin J. Guhl
A new charity in Kingwood Township seeks to help both pets and pet owners by providing funds for
spaying and neutering cats, as well as vaccinations and paying medical bills for sick animals.
According to Committeewoman Elaine Niemann, resident Linda Pfingst, a certified public accountant
who specializes in setting up non-profit organizations, "very generously offered to put together" one to
help with animal control in the township.
Ms. Pfingst said she got the idea when Kingwood and Franklin Township's animal control officer, Traci
Fleming, mentioned to her that a man had offered to donate $500 to help with animal control but it
could not be accepted since there was no procedure set up for taking donations.
"She said we had nowhere to put it. I said that can easily be solved," said Ms. Pfingst. She began setting
up a non-profit organization, which was named the West Hunterdon Animal Welfare Foundation at the
Kingwood Township Committee's suggestion. The fund will be focused on Kingwood and Franklin
Townships, and could expand in the future to cover other municipalities in the western portion of the
The Hunterdon Humane Shelter used to take in strays for Kingwood, but the shelter informed Kingwood
last year that it would stop providing that service in 2008. This came a month after the Township
Committee questioned the service being received by the shelter and requested several documents
related to the group's finances and organization. Then-Mayor James Burke said the township was
dissatisfied with the warden services being provided, including issues regarding dog licensing.
Since then, Kingwood has shared an animal control officer with Franklin Township and used Mobile
Veterinary Service and Clinic of Stockton as its shelter. "Some residents have feral (cat) populations in
their barns," said Ms. Niemann. People don't always have the funds to get all of these animals neutered
or spayed, in order to prevent a further increase in strays, and this charity will help people get those
funds. The funds will also be used to pay shelters and vets for their services, which they often end up
paying out of their own pockets. Mobile Veterinary Service and Clinic does a lot of pet care and
surgeries pro-bono, which isn't cheap. According to Mobile Veterinary Service and Clinic, it costs $185
to neuter a cat and $210 to spay a cat.
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Linda C Pfingst CPA, LLC