Petition update

Hunterdon Humane failed to provide aid for 188 Hunterdon dogs living in hoarder horror

Hunterdon County Animal Shelter Committee

Jun 18, 2019 — 

The recent hoarding case in Kingwood that involved 188 dogs living in horrific conditions brings into focus why Hunterdon County is in desperate need of the resources that Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter fails to provide.  Here is the statement from acting Prosecutor Williams that gives the details of this massive rescue

We applaud Acting Prosecutor Michael Williams and his detectives from the Major Crimes Unit, the NJ State Police Kingwood barracks, St Hubert’s, Monmouth County SPCA, the Kingwood Township Rescue Squad, and all the unsung heroes behind the scenes for their incredible efforts in saving innocent and helpless lives! But there’s an important piece missing in this heroic effort.  Why wasn’t the Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter part of this rescue?  It has the physical facilities to house dogs and certainly its more than $5 million in liquid assets could cover the care for these animals. Their 2017 IRS form which is the latest form available to the public is a window into the shelter’s financial status.

These assets came from the generous donations of members of our community. The donations were given with the understanding that the money and supplies were to be used for the care of helpless animals.

So, what’s the problem?  Why didn’t Hunterdon Humane participate in the rescue?  The answer is that it is closed and has been closed for the past 3 years.

We approached the shelter’s president last year on June 25, 2018, Freeholder Matthew Holt on Sept 10, 2018, and most recently Freeholder Suzanne Lagay on May 28, 2019 with a solution for reopening the shelter.  We never heard back from the shelter’s president. We met with Matthew Holt and at the conclusion of our meeting in 2018, he promised to investigate and get back to us.  We were very disappointed when Mr. Holt failed to get back to us and ignored all our calls to him.  On May 30, 2019, we received a call from Suzanne Lagay in response to our email. She too promised to give us a follow up call. As of the date of this posting, Freeholder Lagay has not called back.  We published our solution in past petition updates but it is worth repeating it in this update.  We have a veterinarian who has agreed to be the supervising veterinarian and join the existing HHAS Board.   We also have excellent animal welfare advocates who will join the existing HHAS Board.  Note that we are not saying replace the HHAS Board.  We are saying add these new members to the existing Board.  This action will allow the shelter to open almost immediately.  It’s a reasonable solution and assures the community that there will be accountability and transparency to the public.

We will continue to pursue our proposal with the HHAS Board and the Freeholders. We will report their response or lack of response to you,  the people of Hunterdon County.

Your support is vital to transforming HHAS into a gold-standard shelter. The petition has gathered over 4,400 signatures.   Please pass our website link to members of our community to sign. Numbers matter!!!!

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