"Hunterdon County Animal Shelter Change of Management"

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HHAS Recap and Change of Management Petition


Hello Hunterdon County Community Members.


On January 16,2015, the Hunterdon County Division of Health services conducted an annual inspection of the Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter and found that it was in violation of N.J.A.C 8:23A-1.9(a) and N.J.A.C 8:23-1.11(e) .These violations were ‘ 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 and Failure to specify which mode of euthanasia the technicians are certified for’. HHAS hired veterinarians but had little success in retaining them. Finally, it was forced to close in June 2016 because it was unable to hire a veterinarian. This incident followed the 2014 animal cruelty charges against Theresa D. Carlson, the President of the Board. Mrs. Carlson was charged with 18 counts of animal cruelty for failure to provide proper sustenance to nine cats at the shelter. In February 2015, the Hunterdon County prosecutor issued a consent order that was signed by Judge Mellinger whereby Mrs. Carlson agreed that she ‘shall have no supervisory or managerial control of the Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter, in perpetuity’. At present, Mrs. Carlson remaines in her role as President of the HHAS Board . The shelter has been closed since June of 2016 and since that date has not fulfilled it missions as stated in their last IRS form that the ‘Organization operates a shelter for unwanted animals and provides an animal warden service to various Hunterdon County communities’. Furthermore, HHAS has failed to comply with Judge Coleman’s order in relation to the 2014 animal cruelty charges, which states ‘the total members of the Board shall not fall below eight, but the Board shall strive to maintain ten’. According to the latest HHAS IRS form there are only 6 members.

Recently HHAS requested a fire inspection for the shelter and it has been approved. This is the first step in an attempt to reopen the shelter once more.  Our committee is dedicated to achieving real change at HHAS, due to the shelter’s noncompliance cited above. We have taken on the task of ensuring that the shelter will not open under the past management. We are working with a larger established 501C(3) to reopen and operate the shelter under a completely new management and board of directors. The board and an involved volunteer group will be comprised of local community residents as part of this new structure. Our committee has an agreement with a local veterinarian to be on the board. This veterinarian will also be the primary medical care provider while the animals in our care are waiting to be adopted and placed in new loving homes. We need the support of Hunterdon County residents to help us realize this new Hunterdon County Animal Shelter. We will need board members, volunteers for all kinds of activities, and loving foster homes.

We require that any permit or license to operate the former HHAS be denied. We request that the County leadership require the handing over of the shelter to our committee to fulfill the NJ State mandated requirement to have an operating shelter that abides by the state law which requires a veterinarian to establish, supervise and maintain a program of disease control and adequate health care. We pledge to operate the shelter in a manner that’s open to the public and provide a safe, clean, loving and caring atmosphere with medical treatment readily available.

By signing this petition, you give a voice to the animals and guidance to our county and community leaders in making the right decision for the animals. Please sign our petition today. Please tell our community leaders that you want the shelter to operate under new management. Thank you for voicing your support of the animals.

                                                Coalition for Animals

                             Hunterdon County Animal Shelter Committee