Petition update

Hunterdon Humane Must Become A No-Kill, Gold-Standard Shelter

Hunterdon County Animal Shelter Committee

Mar 28, 2019 — 

Dear petitioners we have reached nearly 4100 on-line and hard copy signatures. Thank you! Our permanent grassroots organization, Hunterdon County Animal Shelter Committee, is determined to transform the Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter in Alexandria into a no-kill, gold-standard shelter. Please view our website for the full version of our mission statement, past updates, link to our petition, and how to contact us. Please pass our link to family and friends who have not yet signed our petition.  Our web site is:  https://www.hcasc.org/

We are pleased to announce our Endorsement Page which proudly displays support from non-profit organizations and local businesses.  You can view it at https://www.hcasc.org/endorsements   Please use Contact Us on our website if you want to add your organization/business to this page. There is no charge and it shows the thousands of people who view the website that you care about our mission and support a profound change of culture at the Shelter.

In our last update, we revealed that a state inspection report of the Shelter found significant violations under the management of the past Shelter board. Some of these violations were: 1) People who brought in stray animals were instructed to sign a document that they were the owner of the animal. The people signing the document were not the animal’s owner. The document certified that the person signing the form was transferring the animal to the facility and the facility may euthanize the animal if it is not suitable for adoption. This was in violation of N.J.S.A 4:19-15.16.  Page 7 of the report.  2) Heartstick injection was the routine route of injection for euthanasia. This was done by shelter workers. The inspection found that a stethoscope was unable to be located in the area where the heartstick injection took place. This is in violations of N.J.A.C. 8:23A 1.11 (f) 1. Page 6 of the report 3) Records examined indicated that some animals were euthanized before the required 7 days to allow the owner an opportunity to reclaim. Page 5 of the report. 4) Four kittens were housed in the new arrival room with severe diarrhea that was caked to the fur on their rectum, tail, legs and hips. The kittens arrived the day before the inspection but had not been brought to the supervising vet and were not being treated for their symptoms at the time of the inspection. This is in violation of N.J.A.C. 8:23A 1.9 (d). Page 4 of the report. 5) The freezer in which carcasses are stored was full at the time of the inspection. Page 1 of the report

 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8RQfFWRnvxkTE9wTHp2bDc0bUU/view

On Jan. 16, 2015, the Hunterdon County Division of Public Health Services conducted an inspection of the Shelter 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). The inspection also found that the Shelter continued to display Dr. Smith’s VPH-20 certificate for the 4 ½ months after her resignation. Finally, in March of 2015, the Shelter hired Dr. Alfieri as the supervisory vet. Dr. Alfieri left in mid-August 2015. 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. It was not until March of 2016 that Dr. Froberg-Fejko was hired. By June of 2016, there was no supervisory vet when the Shelter closed. To sum it all up, from Aug 2014 to June 2016, there were significant periods of time when the Shelter wasn’t operating under a supervising vet. The links below document these events.

https://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/2015/02/health_code_violations_issued_to_hunterdon_humane.html#incart_river

https://www.nj.com/hunterdon/2015/10/hunterdon_humane_animal_shelter_is_again_without_s.html

https://www.nj.com/hunterdon/2016/05/hunterdon_humane_animal_shelter_to_close_temporari.html

https://www.nj.gov/health/vph/documents/require_vet_sprv.pdf

The public has supported the Shelter, which is a non-profit 501C (3) organization, with millions of dollars. The Shelter wants to reopen and will most likely ask the public for more support. It’s also possible that the county officials and the Prosecutor will select the Shelter to house animals seized in abuse cases and that municipalities will contract with the Shelter. If this is the case, then taxpayer money is involved.  The public has the right to know who is on the Shelter board, and who if any of their members were on the past Shelter board when the above violations occurred. The community must have complete confidence that the past violations will not happen again. The only way to reassure the community is to add animal advocates from the community to the Shelter board. These new board members will provide oversight to the Shelter operation.    

We see the Shelter as a tremendous economic asset to our county.  Shelters that adhere to the no-kill gold standard policies draw economic activity into their areas.  Restaurants, hotels, pet stores, real estate, grocery and convenience stores, tourist businesses, and gas stations are just a few of the businesses that benefit. The Shelter itself would be a tourist attraction. By adding animal advocates to the Shelter board, the animals, the community, and businesses score a tremendous win.  


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