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Hempstead Town Board Approves $90K Animal Shelter Consultant

A weekly look-in at news in the Town of Hempstead.

The Hempstead Town Board approved a $90,000 contract for an "animal enrichment consultant" at the town's animal shelter.

According to Newsday [paid link], the agreement between the town and Laura Garber will begin March 4.

       Garber, who will be paid $54 an hour, will conduct dog evaluations, animal behavior modification, staff training and coordination with cooperating rescue groups. She will visit the animal shelter no more than 32 hours a week, town officials said.

Garber is the owner of WoofGang Dog Training, a N.J.-based company.

She has been working at the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter as the Head of Behavior. The role allows Garber to do "behavior evaluations and rehabilitation of the shelter dogs. She also leads the training initiative for the shelter's Buddy program."
jane smith February 10, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Where is the civil service job announcement for this position? If there is not one, then it is an "appionted" position, which means KM can make up whatever BS she wants and put whoever she chooses in the made-up position. Was that audit DiNapoli's office did just a joke-KM is apparently just ignoring it and doing what she wants anyway. Interestingly, what is that "wonderful" shelter director Cindy doing to justify her $95,000/yr salary? BTW - another person scored the same as Cindy on that shelter director test and was better qualified and more educated but she was not offered even an interview. KM just put Cindy there b/c that's who she wanted and that test meant nothing anyway - just a CYA maneuver by the town to get away with more BS.
Michael G February 10, 2013 at 09:07 PM
3 graphic artists in an animal shelter? Why?
Eileen Joyce February 10, 2013 at 09:41 PM
because people suck.....animals are awesome! you all just proved that people are heartless.
cookie February 10, 2013 at 09:41 PM
I KNOW the Animal Shelter in the Town of Hempstead. I adopt all my dogs from those guys. This woman NEEDS TO SPEND MORE TIME FINDING HOMES FOR THESE POOR ANIMALS. That kind of salary is WAY off-the-charts. If she was so concerned in saving the animals' lives, she would realize how far her salary can go in doing just that. SHE MUST BE KICKING BACK part of her salary to some one or 2 or, God Knows how many, other persons. I am hopelessly in love with all these neglected animals and would adopt many more than what I have, however, I have mobility issues right now, and my plate is full. I know the work some talented people do with the shelters are often thankless and unappreciated, and difficult (esp. training & rehabbing unsocialized dogs) but for 32 hours a week? The interface between the rescue groups is tough work; many groups do it via volunteers only, and it IS important, I am not sure that $54./ is really going to a good cause. $90.K ?? Is she really 'busting ass' ? I know what a $90K job is and it is NOT a 32 hr/week job, and it was NOT a government or township job. I am overdue for a little visit there to see how things improve.......
Eileen Joyce February 10, 2013 at 09:41 PM
because people suck....animals are much better to deal with. You all just proved that!
cookie February 10, 2013 at 09:56 PM
A good shelter has behavior modification programs, imo. These animals are often traumatized and need compassionate help and effort to get them adopted through the different rescue groups. I just think $54./hour can FEED alot of these poor dogs and provide some of their vaccinations or meds. The shelter there could use some improvement for sure. This $90K salary, tho, geesh....I hope she doesn;t bill the township from her private business for some rehabs/training....as she certainly has a lot more time on her hands doing a 32 hr/week gig. And I am an extreme dog lover...This sounds very nepotistic...
robert February 10, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Oh yeah...Good idea...Transfer the money to the school budget and it will disappear just as fast as the 2% cap and the school system will still be crying for more money. Nassau greed will just keep getting worse until the sheep vote all these incumbents out!
robert February 10, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Once again business as usual from the GREEDY wolves who continue to get reelected by SHEEP!!!
Felix Procacci February 11, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Excerpt from : http://animalcareers.about.com/od/Careers/a/Animal-Behaviorist.htm ================================================================= The salary an animal behaviorist earns can vary based on factors such as type of employment, job location, years of experience, and level of education achieved. According to SimplyHired.com, the national average salary for an animal behaviorist is $36,000. In some cities, the average is significantly higher, with San Francisco averaging about $49,000 and New York about $43,000. Indeed.com cites a much higher average salary of $64,000, with San Francisco at $78,000 and New York $74,400. The variation in average salary may be due to the data included; some salary calculators may or may not include certain job titles used by animal behaviorists such as trainer, veterinarian, or animal scientist. ================================================================= The website doesn't specify, but one would guess that the salaries include full-time work of 40 hours per week. The requirement for the Hempstead Animal Shelter animal behaviorist would be to evaluate and rehabilitate dogs and cats only. The salaries specified do not indicate a benefit package. It is reasonable that a more secure job position with good benefits (ie : one in Town Government) would fetch a lower salary than a position with a higher salary, but no job security, and less lucrative benefits (in a free market economy).
Cheap Sam February 11, 2013 at 02:49 AM
I GUARANTEE this new hiree is in the Republican Committee!
Steven Wagner February 11, 2013 at 02:59 AM
And the insanity parade continues.
CM February 11, 2013 at 03:04 AM
I have 3 well educated family members unemployed for over 18 months and another 2 way underpaid for what they do. All would love to have a job paying $40k working a 40 hour week. Is government this much out of touch or what???
Lobster February 11, 2013 at 06:35 AM
For $54 an hour, I'll talk to the animals.
Manny February 11, 2013 at 08:43 AM
take that 90K and give to a senior citizen home where it can be used for human beings which in my world have #1 priority
Amy February 11, 2013 at 09:49 AM
Manny, perhaps you should start a campaign for senior citizens. In the meantime, stick to the topic! For 32 hours a week, the 90k a year is absurd!! Half that would be sufficient for the hours she will work. How long has she been working there prior to this contract agreement? Has she been receiving $54 an hour already? Shouldn't this position go to a town/county resident?
Lobster February 11, 2013 at 09:58 AM
It's all Politrix, it's all for a small circle of friends, LB,T of H,Nassau, it's all the same.
Rob G February 11, 2013 at 10:51 AM
Totally absurd....$90K/year for what???
Love Long Beach February 11, 2013 at 12:51 PM
I don't think it's that absurd, if she has good qualifications and has received proper education. Animal training requires patience and understanding as well as knowledge, and we shouldn't neglect our animal friends as they are part of our community and world. What I don't understand is the 32 hours a week - unless there is a better purpose for keeping her under full time status then I get it. Yes 90k seems a bit excessive, but again if her qualifications are strong that's what is really important.
Concerned American February 11, 2013 at 01:06 PM
What is inappropriate is, on top of the ludicrous salaries paid for the patronage staff in the shelter, they are now paying someone to take care of the animals. At $54/hour! How much more can we stand. I would say go for it if we didn't pay way more for the TOH shelter than any town on Long Island. How about some fiscal sanity? This will never change - taxpayers in TOH pay through the nose.
Joe February 11, 2013 at 01:54 PM
Lets hope we can evaluate the effectiveness of this animal behaviorist. If after a year we don't see an increase in adoptions of these pit bull mix breeds then we need to cut her. Better yet have free neutering and spading right in the neighborhoods that is generating all these unwanted dogs.
Laurie Lat February 11, 2013 at 02:24 PM
so true. As Diane said, they can hire 2 people for that money. They had volunteers that helped and they abused them. We must vote Kate out.
Lorraine DeVita February 11, 2013 at 03:14 PM
From everything I read this person is based out of NJ- typically with "consultants", in any industry /profession not only do you pay their hourly rate you also pay for their commuting and if needed alternative housing if the position is long term. - is that included in this 90k or are there OTHER hidden costs associated with this that we arent being told about or is this person communtnig every day from NJ to LI? $54 per hour PLUS tolls plus gas we are @ or above the 100k mark..and does that 32 hours per week include communting time also? because if it does then its safe to safe 1/3 of those 32 hours is spent driving back and forth between LI and NJ.All my speculation is moot ofcourse if she has relocated to LI at her own expense or had relocated previously at her own expense. Her credentials seem to suggest she is extremely accomplished in her field, she has the req cred's and training - Lets hope for 90K+ she accomplishes what these animals need because the contract is a done deal. yes i am a dog owner and lover but i am also a consumer -
Rob G February 11, 2013 at 03:56 PM
I wish I could make $90K working four days a week. Give us at leat 40 hours for that price. C'mon!!!
Amy February 11, 2013 at 06:25 PM
Concerned, the budget for the TOHAS is seven million a year. Don't think that all goes to the care of the animals. I sure wish it did. We all want what's best, but the salaries are out if hand. 90k a year and not working a 40hr week... That is not appropriate. But the board blocks out the citizens and does as it pleases. Their pay increases, but the shelter has to ask for donations during Hurricane Sandy? Why wasn't the enormous budget dipped into? I find it insane!
Amy February 11, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Sorry... Meant to say "they receive pay increases"
Michael G. February 11, 2013 at 06:54 PM
They have GOT to be kidding. Another MURRAYism: big time waste and a total mismanagement of your tax dollars. Remember in September.
Florence Trunk February 11, 2013 at 07:57 PM
Guess I must have missed the posting for this Animal Behavioral Consultant job? Perhaps there was/is a person right here on LI with proper credentials? I love all animals & know they have many needs.There should be a County-wide training program (Boces?) that would encourage citizens to be educated for this endeavor. Also, my heart goes out to all those veterans who are returning home with their own needs of rehabilitation, emotional, physical, Service animals make very good companions, for vets, the elderly, the handicapped. Why not combine these concepts? As I mentioned, I love all animals, just wondering if cats and other small animals are included in this new program??
T. February 11, 2013 at 08:33 PM
I love dogs more then I do people, however, $90,000 for a consultant? WTF? Really? The shelter already receives $6 -7 million of taxpayers money per year...Its not that I think these poor animals dont deserve the very best, but $54/hr? No more then 32/hrs a week $90,000/yr...... come on, seriously? Is this the Nassau County? Its mind boggling thinking about county jobs that were cut, because of lack of funding...but they have the money to hire a friggin dog consultant.. this is ridiculous..the consultant isnt going to do anything that other staff members arent capable of doing. I guess they figure the court case is over....(they lost)... and now they are in the clear to revert back to their old ways.. the care that these poor animals receive, or finding a home for them, wont change one iota with this position...I hope I am proven wrong.. its disgusting that the TOH shelter is a kill shelter, they spend more money euthanizing, then they would keeping the animals alive. Thousands of dogs/cats are euthanized by this wonderful shelter that will now be paying way too much for a consultant...good lord.
Ivan Ivanovich February 13, 2013 at 05:23 AM
Don't u dare disagree with Marc Cohen, he is a liberal fascist know it all who thinks if u don't share his stupid opinion, no one else does
PitBull February 13, 2013 at 12:54 PM
Please tell me this is a Joke, Are they out of there minds. This is the biggest waste of taxpayer dollars, let's find out how much she donated to Town republicans

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