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NJSPCA Investigation Ongoing; Animal Shelter in South Orange Remains Closed

Joe Grogan

Thursday, May 22, 2014 • 6:12pm

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The NJSPCA has not yet completed the report of its findings during an investigation of the Jersey Animal Coalition on complaints regarding animal welfare at the shelter operated by the JAC.

A representative from the NJSPCA could not give an estimate of when the report might be completed, but he did say that the focus was more on providing care for the animals at the shelter than pursuing legal action.

“Right now we’re looking at this as an animal welfare case, not animal cruelty,” said Matt Stanton, public affairs representative for the NJSPCA.  “We’ve been working with them (JAC) to turn things around and make sure the issues are corrected. We try not to issue tickets or summons until we’ve worked with the parties, and it usually doesn’t go to that level.”

The NJSPCA investigation is ongoing and is separate from the inspection by the village and state Departments of Health. The JAC operates the animal shelter in South Orange under a contract with the village. It has been closed since mid-March after the health inspection resulted in citations for multiple code violations.

While specific NJSPCA findings were not available, the issues stem from mismanagement at the shelter, according to Stanton.

The village is currently in litigation with the JAC over the health code violations. As the case proceeds, more reports will likely become available to the public, according to Steve Rother, village counsel.

“Right now, what I think can happen is that as the litigation gets resolved, the administration can and should make facts known to the public,” he said. “I believe that the reports that have been received from the state have been put online, and as other such documents are prepared, they can likewise be put online.”

For the moment, the NJSPCA is taking its time to complete its report because investigators want to make sure that they do a thorough job, according to Deputy Village Administrator Adam Loehner.

 

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