Petition update

Just the Facts you need to know

Hunterdon County Animal Shelter Committee

Aug 21, 2018 — 

Our online petition and hard copies have gathered well over 2,600 signatures. Amazing community support on your part, thank you!  We are a grass roots movement dedicated to see real cultural change in the way the HHAS organization is governed.

 In our last update, we explained that HHAS is a 501c(3) non-profit and that the board has control of the money you so generously contributed.  Nonprofit board members are required to be the fiduciaries who steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure the nonprofit has adequate resources to advance its mission.  The HHAS board has failed to advance its mission of caring for unwanted and homeless animals and providing an animal warden service to various Hunterdon County communities. The shelter has been closed for 2 ½ years and refuses to add new board members from the community who will offer new approaches to creating a state-of-the-art shelter for our community. The HHAS board has failed to obey Judge Coleman’s order, dated July 25, 2014, that states “The total members of the Board shall not fall below eight but the Board shall strive to maintain ten’. The HHAS federal income tax form 990 shows that in 2015 there were only 6 board members and in 2016 there were only 7 members. The 2017 form is not yet available online.

 From Aug. 2014 to March 2016, there were significant periods of time when the shelter wasn’t operating under a supervising vet. On Jan. 16, 2015, the Hunterdon County Division of Public Health Services conducted an inspection of HHAS and found that it was in violation of not having a supervising vet for 4 ½ months since Dr. Smith departed on Aug. 25, 2014.  This is a violation of the NJ state law NJAC: 8:23 A-1.9(a): Failure to establish and maintain a program of disease control and adequate health care (program) under the supervision and assistance of a doctor of veterinary medicine.  The inspection also found that HHAS continued to display Dr. Smith’s VPH-20 certificate for the 4 ½ months after her resignation. Finally, in March of 2015, the shelter was able to obtain a supervisory vet when it hired Dr. Alfieri.  History was repeated when Dr. Alfieri left in mid-August 2015 and was not replaced until March of 2016 by another supervisory vet. As with Dr. Smith’s certificate, Dr. Alfieri’s VPH-20 certificate continued to hang on the shelter’s wall until Oct 2, 2015, long after her departure. These events were previously reported in an article entitled ‘Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter is again without supervising veterinarian’ by Lillian Shupe dated Oct. 8, 2015 for NJ.com.  Ask yourself if these actions are sound, ethical and legal governance?

Hunterdon County deserves  accountability and transparency from the HHAS board. This will only happen at a face to face meeting with the board members and representatives of our community.  We also hope that the county officials are watching and listening to you the petitioners.


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