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Address Inhumane Animal Shelter Conditions

This petition had 4,946 supporters

Dear East Orange City Council,

We are extremely concerned with the treatment of animals in East Orange, particularly in the East Orange Animal Shelter. Members of our organizations, and concerned individuals, have attended multiple City Council meetings over the past two years. We have met with City Council Members to address these issues, and even though we’ve had some support (particularly from Councilwoman McPhatter), we have made little progress. In the meantime, animals are suffering. Just this week a friendly six month old puppy was euthanized at East Orange Animal Shelter with no attempt made to find them a home.

Despite the work of Miss Pat’s Cats to control the cat population through TNVRM (Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return-Manage), cats are multiplying. Despite the work of the Friends of East Orange Animal Shelter to address the conditions at the shelter, practices have not changed. Cats and dogs are still being euthanized without medical or behavioral evaluation, and without the chance of adoption.

The situation will not improve by itself. Changes must be made now.

We demand that the East Orange Animal Shelter do the following:

-- Comply with all New Jersey Shelter laws. For example, fix the heating and cooling system in the shelter, as ordered during the failed State inspection on June 17, 2014.
-- Investigate the shelter’s employment of a veterinarian who has numerous negligence charges made against him in other municipalities.
-- Every animal that comes into the shelter needs to be vaccinated, provided necessary medical treatment, and evaluated.
-- Make every effort to get friendly animals adopted through community outreach (Social Media, Petfinder, Adoption Days, community events, etc.).
-- Allow volunteers from the community and organizations like The Friends of East Orange Animal Shelter, to help with the animals and with adoptions.
-- Keep accurate records of every animal the comes into the shelter, is euthanized, or adopted. These must be reported to the New Jersey Department of Public Health and made available to the public.

We demand the City of East Orange adopt TNR policy to control the cat population:

-- Cats that come into East Orange Animal Shelter that are not adoptable need to be fixed, vaccinated, and released back into managed TNVRM communities. 
-- Cats that come into the shelter that are adoptable need to be fixed, vaccinated, and given the chance for a forever home.

-- There are numerous grants available for city-wide TNVRM programs. The non-profit organization Miss Pat’s Cats has already stepped up to oversee these grants when the city is ready to adopt a TNVRM program. This will cost the city nothing.

Why TNVRM Works: We have supplied City Council Members with numerous experts, studies, and actual policies that show TNVRM works. We can supply this documentation again.

-- Saves money and employee time. It costs almost twice as much to euthanize a cat that it costs to get that cat fixed and vaccinated. As the cat population declines, less employee time is spent on cat complaints.
-- Protects public health. TNVRM cats are vaccinated against diseases like rabies. A well-controlled stray cat population reduces the number of rats in the community.
-- Improves community relations. Residents and employees care about animals and do not want to see them killed. Complaints about nuisance cat behavior declines.
-- TNVRM fosters a cooperative relationship between Animal Control and residents. This is beneficial for looking after cat colonies and assisting with adoptions.

We are not demanding any extra-ordinary changes. We require that the City follow the law and adopt simple established humane Animal Control practices. We require that the City implement a TNVRM policy that dozens of New Jersey municipalities have already adopted (most recently, Livingston), and the New Jersey Department of Health recommends as the best way to control the cat population.

We are able to provide documentation on best practices, and to provide free legal council (by the New Jersey Animal Protection League) to draft new City ordinances.

We expect a response to these demands and will continue to attend City Council Meetings until we receive one.

This letter is also being circulated as a petition in the community, and the media has been notified of the inhumane treatment of animals in East Orange.


Concerned Citizens of East Orange, NJ
Miss Pat’s Cats
Friends of East Orange Animal Shelter 


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