Justice for Tristan the Senior Lab Killed By Elizabeth Shelter, NJ hours before freedom
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On the morning of Tuesday, July 25, 2017; the Elizabeth Animal Shelter, located at 518 Trenton Avenue, Elizabeth NJ 07202 (908) 820-4242, euthanized a Golden Retriever/Lab mix estimated to be 10 years of age. On or about June 25, 2017; Elizabeth Animal Control was informed of a stray and took possession of him. The dog was then evaluated and immediately deemed "aggressive" by a volunteer who performs intake assessments. No credentials and/or certifications have been provided by this volunteer to establish her as an animal behaviorist/trainer/expert. It is unclear at this time if the volunteer is paid for her 10 hours of weekly service. It was claimed, by this person, that the dog was seen by a vet. She stated that the vet did not identify any medical conditions that would account for any aggressive behavior. This volunteer's claim was later proven false by her text messages. In truth, this dog was never examined by a vet. Despite the unsubstantiated claims of "aggression" and "multiple attempted bites" (mostly directed at her) the volunteer cleared the dog to be released to any animal rescue holding a 501C3 tax exempt status. In this instance, a 501C3 animal rescue would agree to take legal possession of the dog, foster, rehabilitate, and ultimately rehome the animal. Another potential contradiction: Why would this woman allow such a "dangerous" dog to put the public at risk? She appeared only concerned that the city be protected from liability. (Again, I have all documentation of her statements). On Thursday July 20 at 7:42pm,I became involved in this situation when I saw a Facebook post explaining that the dog needed a rescue. I have successfully coordinated animal rescues with other shelters since October 2011. I contacted the volunteer that represented herself as the one who makes the recommendations on all animals to her boss, The Department Of Health Supervisor. I assured her that I would get a rescue to take the dog as I became concerned that the animal may be suffering pain as he was old and appeared not to be able to get up based on all the pictures that were posted of him. On Saturday, July 22, 2017; an animal rescue evaluator worked with an Animal Control officer to get the dog out of a run and evaluate his fitness for rescue. The Animal Control officer, Scott, was very helpful and kind. Scott, by the way, appears to be the only one at the facility who is level headed and has common sense. HE SHOULD BE THE ONE GETTING A RAISE AND HANDLING THE SHELTER. He noted to our evaluator that he liked the old guy and didn't have a problem with him. The dog was taken out of the run without issue. No aggression noted. The dog rubbed his ears on the ground repeatedly and appeared deaf as he was not responding to any prompts by the evaluator. The dog's hind legs then began to give out and his hips appeared unsteady. He fell numerous times during the 20 minute evaluation. Throughout the entire evaluation; the dog's tail wagged and he appeared happy to be out of the run. Once the official report was submitted to me, I went forward with securing a rescue. "Stephanie's Shepherds" is a 501C3 animal rescue specializing in rehabilitating German Shepherd and Labrador Retrievers. I sent the rescue head the video and she immediately agreed to sign off on the dog. An adopter then stepped forward and agreed to give him a good home. I stated that I would personally cover all vet bills. It was said to me that if I could get a rescue to commit by Monday, July 24, 2017, the volunteer could get the dog an extra day so we could coordinate transport. Yet, inexplicably, the dog was euthanized within hours of our transporter picking him up. All involved were absolutely devastated as we had worked so hard and wanted to save this poor senior who appeared to have been sitting unattended at a shelter facility, in obvious pain for 30 days, only to be killed within hours of freedom! So, why would someone do such a thing? It is my very strong opinion that she was fearful of the dog being vetted and doing well in a rescue; casting serious doubt on her ability to accurately assess these animals. Also, her lie about the dog being to a vet would have been exposed. My guess is?? She wanted to get rid of the evidence. There are a couple of issues I would like support on. #1 Why was I lied to that the dog was seen by a vet and cleared as healthy? As you can see from the video; the dog is clearly in pain. #2 Why would the shelter euthanize hours before transport was coming to get the dog? The shelter knew we had a rescue. #3 It was stated to me by this volunteer (I have all the messages documenting the veracity of what I am saying) that the Mayor of Elizabeth doesn't care about animals and wants to close the facility and send all of their animals in need to the Newark shelter; known for its extremely high kill rate. The number to inquire about the truth of this is (908) 820-4000. You do not have to be a resident of Elizabeth to demand answers. #4 I am asking for a review of the process of how Elizabeth processes stray and unwanted animals. #5 In addition, I want to know how euthanasia is conducted as earlier reports in the NJ Advocate suggested that euthanasia at this shelter is not done in a humane fashion #6 I am asking for the city to allow volunteers at the facility; so they can walk and socialize these animals in order to provide them a better chance at getting adopted. I do not want this poor old guy to have died in vain. Hence, we are calling this petition "Justice for Tristan" as that was the name our heartbroken adopter was going to call him. Please share this Things change for the better when we care enough to go the extra mile.
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