The Hempstead Town Board has approved a $90,000 contract for an animal enrichment consultant for the town’s animal shelter — but animal advocates objected to the price tag.
The board unanimously voted at its Tuesday night meeting to hire Laura Garber of Hoboken, N.J.-based Woofgang Llc as the animal enrichment consultant with a one-year contract not to exceed $90,000. The agreement begins 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.
“That’s $30,000 less a year for the animals,” said animal rescuer and town critic Diane Madden, adding an animal behaviorist normally gets paid $50,000 to $60,000 a year. “This is the waste of taxpayers’ money we’ve been talking about.”
In response, Supervisor Kate Murray said contractors don’t receive pension or health benefits, so the compensation is fair.