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FAQs

1.What is the Addiction Recovery Program (ARP)?
The program provides outpatient treatment services to, self referred, court mandated probation, parole, DYFS, DUI and Family Court clients.
2.What is the goal of ARP?
ARP helps people with alcohol and/or drug related problems when those problems affect their ability to perform on the job, at home, or in society. The goal of the program is to help clients obtain and maintain a sober, drug-free, and productive life. The program is completely confidential. Services are provided in a safe and supportive environment. Each client is served with dignity and respect.
3.How does the program work?
ARP helps clients look at their relationship with alcohol and/or drugs, and recognize its impact on their lives. This is accomplished on an outpatient basis by combining personalized treatment plans with the twelve step approach.
4.What type of treatment is offered?
Treatment includes education, individual and group counseling. Counselors help each client develop a plan to achieve abstinence, develop new ways of coping, build a more positive self-image, and realize personal goals.
1.Does the animal shelter provide vaccinations?
Cats and kittens adopted from our shelter have received at least one vaccination to protect them against feline distemper, calcivirus and herpes virus. Most cats that are old enough (over 14 weeks) have also received a rabies shot.

As a cat owner, you should discuss with your vet the vaccine schedule that will be best for your pet.

2.How do I remove feral cats from my property?
In order to remove cats that cannot be handled, it is necessary to confine them in a humane trap. We will loan you a trap and pick up any cats caught between 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.


No trapping is done on holidays or weekends. This service only available to towns that contract with Bergen County Animal Control.

It is your responsibility to watch the trap and notify Animal Control when an animal is in the trap. The trap is to be closed at 4:30 pm unless you are attempting to trap a skunk, raccoon or opossum.

For more information, call Animal Control at 201-229-4616.

3.How should I go about selecting a cat?
Adopting from a shelter or rescue group has several advantages. First and foremost, you are saving a life. A responsible shelter or rescue group will carefully screen adopters. They will have you sign a contract, stating the obligations of both the shelter and the adopter. They will require that the pet be spayed or neutered. They will take the cat back if the adoption does not work out. They will spell out what they will do if the cat has medical problems. They will offer support and advice if you encounter problems with your new cat. Please see our adoption page for more information on the Bergen County Animal Shelter's adoption policies. Visit our selecting a cat page for more information.
4.Should I keep my cat indoors or out?
Many of the people coming to the shelter looking for a lost cat say, "But he always stays right in the yard." As animal control officers, we see all too frequently the tragic results of letting cats outdoors. Our answer to the question "indoors or out?" is definitely indoors.
5.What do I need to know about feline URIs and what are they?
URIs (upper respiratory infections) are one of the most common medical problems with adopted cats. Because the virus is airborne, it is nearly impossible to eradicate in a shelter setting where new cats are introduced daily. Fortunately, most cats recover with no problems. Symptoms include runny noses and eyes - just like a human cold. While there isn't much you can do for the viral infection, many vets will treat with antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infections. If your cat starts sneezing, it's time to see the vet.

Cats adopted from our shelter are covered by the 2-week medical care guarantee for treatment. When a cat can't smell because its nose is stuffy, it often won't eat. This can be very serious in a young kitten. It is critical to see a vet immediately if a young kitten stops eating.

6.What do I need to know about rabies?
Rabies is probably the most serious disease that can be transmitted from an animal to a human. New Jersey law requires that bites be reported to your local health department. The health department will enforce a 10-day quarantine. If the biting animal is not available for quarantine, the person bitten will probably have to undergo rabies treatment. The rabies vaccine is HIGHLY recommended as rabies is a fatal disease that has been found in New Jersey. Visit the New Jersey rabies page for more information.
7.What do I need to know about spaying or neutering my cat?
If your cat is from our shelter it will already be spayed or neutered. This webpage addresses some concerns about spaying or neutering your cat. Just about every website for an animal organization, including ours, also provides spaying and neutering information.
8.What happens to feral cats?
Unfortunately, there are no perfect answers to the feral cat problem. In some municipalities there exist feral cat colonies managed by volunteer partners in the neighborhood. In those cases the shelter veterinary staff or a contracted private veterinary hospital will spay or neuter and vaccinate the cat. The cat will be returned to the managed colony. The shelter staff is prepared to train and help support individuals or groups of neighbors who are willing to manage feral colonies in municipalities where feeding feral cats is not prohibited by local ordinances. If you would like information about how to establish and maintain a feral cat colony, please call the shelter at 201-229-4600.

Feral cats brought to the shelter are housed here for a period of 7 days. During that 7 days, behavioral assessements are performed to determine if the cat is a candidate for adoption. If the cat has a serious, untreatable or zoonotic disease and/or is unable to be handled without risk to humans and there is no managed colony to return the cat to, sadly the cat must be euthanized.

9.What should I know about feline health?
While the Internet is a great resource for learning more about feline health issues and receiving support from other cat owners who have been through similar problems, it should never be a substitute for seeing your veterinarian. Before you follow anyone's advice, please consult your veterinarian. With that disclaimer, here are some feline health links that may be useful: The Bergen County Animal Shelter does not provide emergency medical care for owned pets. In Bergen County and Northern New Jersey, The Oradell Animal HospitalNorth Jersey Veterinary Emergency Services and the Animal Emergency & Referral Associates provide 24-hour emergency service.
10.What should I know about parasites?
During the first 2 weeks of adoption, our medical care guarantee includes treatment for parasites. We ask all adopters to bring in a fresh stool sample during that period. If parasites are found, we will provide treatment.Visit the worms, protozoan parasites, and mites webpage for more information.
1.How do I submit an OPRA request?
To submit an OPRA request, complete the Government Records Request Form and submit it by mailing the form to the appropriate division/department as directed on the second page of the form.
1.Must I be a physician to be a volunteer for the BC MRC?
No. Any health care professional or community member is welcome to be a volunteer.
2.Can a retired person join the BC MRC?
Yes. Volunteers from all areas of medical professions and the community, including retired persons, can join.
3.Is there a role for senior citizens in the BC MRC?
Yes. There are a variety of tasks which can be completed by seniors. Through our training program you will have the opportunity to expand your volunteer role.
4.Can handicapped persons join the BC MRC?
Yes. We are a volunteer organization and open to membership by all health care professionals and community members who are willing and able to volunteer.
5.How do I contact you to join the BC MRC?
Our address is located under the heading of "Contact Us" on the BC MRC home page.
6.Is there a website I can go to for information about the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps?
Yes. Logon to: http://njmrc.nj.gov
1.What Animals Carry Rabies?
Rabies is caused by a virus that affects mammals. Wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, bats, groundhogs, and fox are commonly affected. The most common domestic animal affected in New Jersey is the free-roaming cat. Rodents such as chipmunks, squirrels, rats, and mice are rarely affected. Reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds do not get rabies.
2.What Does a Rabid Animal Act Like?
Rabies usually occurs in two forms. One is "dumb rabies." The animal usually looks sickly, has trouble walking and falls, appears to be drunk and can be paralyzed. The other form is "furious rabies." The animal is very aggressive and vicious. The animal will chase and attack other animals and humans.
1.How do I receive bid information?
To sign up to receive bid information, visit Notify Me
1.Where can I find information about gerbils?
The Gerbil Information Page is the English version of a gerbil site from the Netherlands.
2.Where can I find information about hamsters?
The Hamster Society provides breed descriptions. Hamster Land has more information.
3.Where can I find information about rescued rabbits?
The best site we've found for rabbits is The House Rabbit Society. It covers all aspects of rabbit behavior and care.

We almost always have rabbits available for adoption at the shelter. They must be spayed or neutered before leaving the shelter.

4.Where can I find information about rescued guinea pigs?
The Guinea Pig Compendium is a good place to start for information on Guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are often available for adoption at the shelter, too.
5.What information do I need to know to keep a ferret?
Keeping a pet ferret in New Jersey requires a permit from the Department of Fish, Game and Wildlife. Information and applications are available when adopting a ferret from the shelter. NetVet Ferrets provides links to numerous ferret sites.
6.What animals besides dogs and cats are available for adoption?
We occasionally have other animals for adoption; most commonly pot-bellied pigs, chickens, mice, rats, iguanas, turtles, canaries, cockatrices, and parakeets.
1.I have an air conditioner. Should I turn it off if spraying is scheduled in my area?
If you have a window air-conditioning unit, you can turn off the vent so that air is not brought in from the outside. Central air-conditioning units cool recirculated air in your house. Since a central air-conditioning unit does not pull in outside air, there is no need to turn it off.
2.Is it safe for my child to play on a playing field in an area that has been sprayed?
If there have been four hours of daylight since the spraying occurred, the Scourge has degraded and the field would be safe to play on.
3.Is it safe to use outdoor furniture or a swing set if Scourge has been sprayed in the area?
After four hours of daylight, the Scourge has degraded and the outdoor furniture or a swing set would be safe to use. Residents can hose down the items before use as an extra precaution.
4.Is Scourge dangerous for the fish in my ornamental fish pond?
Scourge should not adversely affect the fish at the rates it is used. However, as a precaution you can throw a tarp over the pond during the spraying or remove the fish and bring them inside temporarily.
5.Is the spraying to kill adult mosquitoes being done aerially or from the ground?
No aerial spraying to kill adult mosquitoes has been done in Bergen County, either last year or this year. Adult mosquito control is being conducted in Bergen County from the ground through the use of trucks, all terrain vehicles or hand-held units.
6.Will mosquitoes breed in my swimming pool?
Swimming pools that are filtered and chlorinated will not breed mosquitoes. Pools that are neither filtered nor chlorinated are a potential mosquito breeding place and should be emptied. Similarly, pool covers that collect rainwater should be drained.
7.Will produce from my garden be safe to eat after my area of town is treated with Scourge?
Scourge degrades after four hours of daylight, even on a cloudy day. There are no residual effects of spraying with Scourge and no build up in the environment. As a precaution, wash produce before eating it.
8.Will the spray cause my pool to be unsafe for swimming? Should I cover the pool?
It is not necessary to cover a swimming pool. After four hours of daylight, the Scourge will degrade. The normal filtration and chlorination process should keep the water safe for swimming.
9.Will the spray from a truck reach my backyard?
The distance the spray is carried depends largely on wind speed and direction. Generally speaking, the spray may reach one-quarter of a mile.
10.Would it be safe to walk my dog the morning after spraying has been done in our area?
Spraying is scheduled to conclude by 6 a.m., so a full four hours might not have elapsed by the time you need to walk your dog. Although it is not considered dangerous to walk the dog within that time frame, a cautious approach would be to walk the dog on a leash and bring the pet inside as soon as possible.
1.What is the Ramapo Mountains County Park Management Plan?
A park management plan is an active and ongoing process for making choices about how to effectively plan and manage the Bergen County section of the Ramapo Mountains for the next 15 to 20 years.
2.What is the Bergen County Ramapo Mountains County Park?
The Bergen County Ramapo Mountains County Park encompasses the following park areas: Ramapo Valley County Reservation, Camp Glen Gray, Camp Tamarack, and Camp Todd.
3.Why is the County of Bergen doing a park management plan now?
After years of acquiring forested lands, the county is now focusing on how best to protect and provide appropriate visitor experiences in the Bergen County section of the Ramapo Mountains.
4.How can I get involved in the planning process?
You can receive notice of meetings and updates on the management plan by subscribing to the Ramapo Mountains County Park Management Plan email list.
1.How do I know if my assessment is fair?
The New Jersey Legislation adopted a formula known as Chapter 123 in 1973 to test the fairness of an assessment. Once the Tax Board has determined the true market value of a property during an appeal, they are required to automatically compare the true market value to the assessment. 

If the ratio of the assessment to the true value exceeds the average ratio by 15%, then the assessment is automatically reduced to the common level. 

However, if the assessment falls within this common level range, no adjustment will be made. If the assessment to true value ratio falls below the common level, the Tax Board is obligated to increase the assessment to the common level. 

This test assumes the taxpayer will supply sufficient evidence to the Tax Board so they may determine the true market value of the property subject to the appeal. You should inquire into your district’s average ratio before filing a tax appeal. This ratio changes annually on October 1, for use in the subsequent tax year.

2.What is a tax appeal hearing and who will hear my appeal?
Once you have filed your tax appeal, a hearing before the Bergen County Tax Board is scheduled. The Bergen County Board consists of five members appointed by the governor. The Tax Board Commissioners are appointed primarily to hear disputes involving assessments. The municipality is the opposing party and will be represented by the municipal attorney. The assessor and/or an appraiser may appear at your hearing as an expert witness for the municipality.
3.Is a hearing always necessary?
A hearing is always necessary. If the assessor, municipal attorney, and the taxpayer agree to a settlement or the issues are otherwise resolved, it may not be necessary for you to attend your hearing, particularly if a settlement stipulation form is submitted to the Tax Board for their approval.
4.When are the tax appeal hearings held?
Tax appeal hearings are generally held after the April 1 annual deadline. Adjournments are generally denied. It is suggested that you make every attempt to attend your hearing. If you miss your hearing and have not received a written notice postponing your case, you may assume the case has been dismissed. If you do not attend your hearing, your case will be dismissed for lack of prosecution.
5.If the property was recently purchased, how is this purchase considered?
An assessment is an opinion of value. Uniformity of treatment dictates minor adjustments are not made simply due to a recent sales price. For various other reasons the subject’s sales price may not necessarily be either conclusive evidence of the property’s true market value, or binding upon the Tax Board. An examination of the circumstances surrounding a sale is always important.
6.Will the appeal be private?
No. All meetings of the Board of Taxation are public meetings.
7.Are there special rules for commercial properties?
Yes. Owners of rental income properties must supply an income statement at the time of filing on special forms provided by the Tax Board. Since the income generated by a property has a direct bearing on the owner’s ability to market the property, and therefore its value, this evidence may be useful in arguing both sides of an appeal.
8.Who is an expert witness?
Besides your municipal assessor, anyone whose occupation is a real estate appraiser, and whose designation as such is from a legitimate association of professionals, is considered an expert. An expert’s qualifications may be challenged by the municipal attorney at the hearing.

In addition, if you intend to rely on expert testimony at your hearing, you must supply one copy of an appraisal report to the assessor, and one copy to every member of the County Tax Board and Tax Administrator at least 7 days in advance of the scheduled hearing. The appraiser who completed the report must be available at the hearing to give testimony and to afford the municipality and Tax Board an opportunity to cross-examine the witness.

9.May I further appeal the judgment of the Tax Board if I am still dissatisfied?
If you are dissatisfied with the judgment rendered by the Tax Board, you will have 45 days from the date your judgment was mailed to file a further appeal with the Tax Court of New Jersey. If your property is assessed for more than $750,000, you may file directly with the Tax Court by April 1 annually.
10.What is the basis for my assessment?
In order for an assessment to be deemed excessive or discriminatory, a taxpayer must prove an assessment does not fairly represent one of the two standards:
  • Following a revaluation, all assessments must represent 100% of true market value as of the previous October 1. The October 1 pre-tax date is called the annual "assessment date". All evidence submitted in a tax appeal must be on or near the assessment date, especially property sales used as comparisons.
  • The other standard is the "common level" or common level range established in your municipality. To explain the common level range you must consider what happens following a revaluation. or reassessment. Once a revaluation or reassessment is completed, external factors such as inflation, appreciation, and depreciation may cause values to increase or decrease at varying rates.
More information
11.What is good evidence to convince the Tax Board to reconsider an assessment?
Credible evidence is evidence supported by fact, not assumptions or beliefs. Photographs of both the subject property (the property subject to the appeal) and comparisons are useful in illustrating your argument. Factual evidence concerning special circumstances is necessary. More information
1.How do I apply to vote by mail?
You must submit an application to the County Clerk's Election Division. These applications are available at the County Clerk's Election Division, at your local municipal clerk's office, or you may download and print the vote-by-mail application.

Once your Application has been approved by the county clerk's office, and the ballot has been mailed out to you, you will not be permitted to vote at your polling location for that election. More information

2.I am a U.S. citizen living overseas. How can I still vote?
If you are a U.S. citizen living overseas, either temporarily or indefinitely, you can still vote. You will need to fill out and send us a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) . In section 1 of this form, you must indicate if you are residing outside of the U.S. temporarily or indefinitely. This application must be renewed every year, in January. Federal Voting Assistance Program
3.If I am a candidate, may I still serve as an assister or authorized messenger?
No. Candidates in an election for which a voter is requesting a mail-in ballot cannot be an assister or authorized messenger.
4.If I cannot sign my name due to illness or injury, how do I authorize my application?
If you are unable to sign your name the way it appears in the voter registry, you may indicate your mark, such as an X, in Section 8 of the application. Place this mark on the line provided for your signature. Your name must be printed next to the mark. Any person assisting you with the application must fill in the box and sign his or her name as an assister.
5.If I help someone fill out an application, what should I do?
In Section 11, you must provide your name, address, and signature thereby identifying yourself as an assister.
6.If I serve in the military, what are my voting options?
You may submit a military vote-by-mail application for any election if you are a registered voter in Bergen County and are any of the following:
  • An active member of the armed forces
  • A spouse or dependent of a member of the armed forces
  • A patient in a veteran's hospital
  • A civilian attached to or in service with the armed forces out of state, or a spouse or dependent residing with or accompanying that person.
You can also obtain a Federal and/or military vote-by-mail application from the Bergen County Clerk's office, your local municipal clerk's office, from the proper military personnel, or from the Federal Voting Assistance Program's website. The Application is only valid for 1 year and must be renewed every year. You will receive a mail-in ballot for each election held in your municipality during that year.
7.I've received a letter from the county clerk's office saying my application has been rejected. What do I do?
Call the County Clerk's Election Division immediately. There are many reasons why an application can be rejected. Usually, this happens because the signature on the application does not match the signature on file in voter registration, or because there is some other discrepancy with your registration. These problems are usually resolved easily, but we can only help if you call the office at 201-336-7020.
8.What is an authorized messenger?
Any registered voter may apply to vote by mail using an authorized messenger. The messenger must be a member of the voter's family or a registered voter of Bergen County. The voter must provide the authorized messenger's name and address in section 12 of the application, and must sign the application on the line provided. The authorized messenger must show photo ID and sign the application in the presence of a county clerk election official and deliver the mail-in ballot directly to the voter. An authorized messenger will be permitted to serve as a messenger for no more than 10 qualified voters per election.
9.When are elections held in Bergen County?
See the important dates and elections page for further information.
10.Who can vote by mail in Bergen County?
Any registered voter with a primary residence in Bergen County may use a mail-in ballot.

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