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South Orange Moves to Evict Jersey Animal Coalition from Managing Shelter

Joe Grogan

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 • 12:53am

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Village administrators have ended the lease agreement with the Jersey Animal Coalition and served the animal shelter’s management an eviction notice.

What will happen with the animals still in the shelter once the JAC suspends operations was not immediately clear.

A letter informing Ruth Perlmutter, president of the JAC’s executive board, and attorney William Strazza of the eviction was sent June 27 in response to the shelter’s failure to produce financial and personnel records. The JAC has until July 9 to vacate the facility on Walton Avenue.

“In the absence of such curing of the stated defaults, you are hereby notified … that the Township of South Orange Village hereby terminates the Lease and demands that the JAC quit and vacate the premises on or before 4 p.m., Wednesday, July 9, 2014,” the letter reads.

Strazza responded to the notice by requesting that the shelter’s ongoing quarantine be lifted in light of an affidavit signed by Dr. Michael Santiago, the JAC’s veterinarian of record, stating that all of the animals at the facility are healthy and disease-free.

Deputy Village Administrator Adam Loehner, however, said that he received no such affidavit until after the eviction notice was served. He also said that there are still more issues that would need to be addressed in order for the shelter to reopen under its current management.

“We’re still very interested in helping the animals at the shelter and getting them adopted,” Loehner said. “It’s the JAC that’s still holding them back. It’s a shame that all these animals that are ready to go are stuck in the shelter.”

Strazza did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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