Christine Cotroneo says she volunteered several days each week at the Humane Society of Port Jervis in NY from August – November 2012. She worked mostly with the cats and stated in a letter to the board that the animals’ most basic needs – food, water and a clean cage – were too often left unmet, sometimes for days. Ms. Cotroneo says that during the time she volunteered, sick cats were mixed in with healthy cats, she had no knowledge of any cats being tested for FeLV/FIV before being housed together, intact males were caged with intact females (according to the cage cards) and she never observed any cats receiving veterinary care. To the best of her knowledge, the shelter did not have a protocol requiring vaccination upon intake for all pets during the months she volunteered.
If you click the below photo to enlarge (then use your browser’s BACK button to return to the post), you’ll see the cage card for this cat indicates an impound date of August 29 while the time stamp on the photo is August 30. The cat is shown having no food, no water and no litter box:
Ms. Cotroneo says she told staff about this dog’s filthy cage but no one attended to him during the hours she was there that day:
Ms. Cotroneo observed worms in the bags of cat food, the bin in which the food is stored and in the bowls in the cages. One one occasion, she saw a cat eating worms out of his bowl.
Ms. Cotroneo says during her volunteer work, she would give each cat at least 10 minutes outside the cage to stretch their legs and for socialization. She has no knowledge of the cats being let out of their cages at any other time.
Ms. Cotroneo says this litter of kittens with a severe flea infestation was never removed from the cage while she was at the HS of Port Jervis:
Even the water bowl in the kittens’ cage had fleas in it.
Ms. Cotroneo says all these kittens slowly died in this cage. In a letter to the board of the HS of Port Jervis dated November 15, 2012, she stated she saw a second litter (not pictured) also apparently slowly dying in their cage:
[W]hen I learned on November 13, 2012 that another litter was dying, one by one, yet still sitting there in their cage, I approached President, Lisa Eagan, to see if I could take them home and get them medical attention. Rather than allowing me to do that, she advised me that she would have your shelter veterinarian, Dr. Roeder, take a look at them. I do not know if this has been done. From what I recall, there were at least seven kittens in that litter, now there are only four, so I assume three have already died.
The letter to the board was e-mailed on November 15. Ms. Cotroneo next visited the shelter to volunteer on November 18. At that time, she says she was handed a letter advising her that she’d been fired. That letter was dated November 13, the day she says she asked if she could save a dying litter of kittens and was refused.
An open records request by Ms. Cotroneo for the HS of Port Jervis’ stats was denied by the town of Deerpark on November 14. The town claims the shelter is private although the website appears to indicate an animal control contract with the HS of Port Jervis which would make the facility taxpayer funded, at least in part. If that is the case, they are indeed subject to open records requests.
After Ms. Controneo contacted me with her concerns and documentation of what appears to be neglect at the HS of Port Jervis, I reached out to Lisa Eagan, president of the board. I am posting our brief correspondence in its entirety:
To: Lisa Eagan
Sent: Thursday, December 6, 2012 11:42 AM
Subject: Port Jervis HS
I write a blog on animal shelters and was contacted by Christine Cotroneo who says she was recently fired as a volunteer at your shelter. She has made some allegations of neglect at the shelter and I wanted to see if the Board had any comment or would be willing to talk with me about the shelter. I also wanted to request a copy of the statistics for the most recent year on file detailing intakes and outcomes at PJHS.
There are enough homes for every shelter pet in America.
Subject: Re: Port Jervis HS
From: Lisa Eagan
Date: Sat, December 08, 2012 10:08 pm
I am disappointed to hear that Christine would say negative and untrue statements about how we treat our animals at our shelter. The executive board would be more than willing to meet with you in person if you personally have had an issue with our shelter. As for the statistics of our shelter, I will have to respectfully decline your request for our records. I hope to hear from you soon.
Since I believe my letter was clear and that no reasonable person would interpret from it that I personally “had an issue” with the shelter (but rather was seeking comment about specific allegations of neglect for the blog), I interpret the response to be a NO. No comment on photographs appearing to show neglect, no we won’t tell you how many pets died in their cages or in our kill room and no we won’t talk to you but yeah – “hope to hear from you soon”. Well, here you go.
One thing worth noting about the photographs provided by Ms. Cotroneo: they weren’t all taken at 7 or 8 in the morning when one might expect to find cages that hadn’t been cleaned for 14 hours or bowls that had been tipped over during the night. They appear to show a pattern of neglect, not a few isolated incidents.
I know there must be other caring people who have or are volunteering or working at the HS of Port Jervis who want to speak up for the pets but feel afraid to do so. I hope they will see this post as an open door. Thank you Christine for opening it.
86 thoughts on “Former Volunteer Alleges Neglect at the Humane Society of Port Jervis”
Thank You, Christine for taking photos and sharing… More people like you are needed.
Lisa Eagan is the problem and it appears she should be removed.
This really is a bunch of crap!!! Seems to me you should know all the facts, you know they always say there are 3 sides to a story! I know the cat with the open wound, came into the shelter with a flea collar growing into it’s neck. The vet removed it and wanted to leave the wound open for awhile to heal. Seems to me this is all coming from a disgruntled worker! I know Lisa Eagan and she gives a whole lot of her time to this shelter and so does everyone else up there. Thank God we have people like her looking out for our homeless friends. Christine you should be ashamed of yourself and definitely more people like you are NOT needed!
Dear Barbara, you should read the following blog written by the director of Pets Alive. Christine is NOT the only one that is speaking up about this hell hole.
Christine is a wonderful, courageous and dedicated advocate for poor animals that are suffering and dying in that hell, and she went, and is still going, through a lot of trouble to speak on behalf of these poor babies, which most people don’t have the courage or compassion to do. You should heed your own advice and get all the facts before you write such an offensive and immature reply to this wonderful article.
Doesn’t the ASPCA or any other group follow-up on something like this?
yes- thank god for people like you….. if only we could clone you and send you out to unveil ALL the horrific treatment of animals in places that are supposed to be a safe haven :(
I noticed that Lisa said she would meet with you “in person”. This is an obvious way of not putting anything in writing. If she had nothing to hide, why not put her responses in writing, along with the documentation you requested? Of course, she is covering up the abuse and neglect in PJ, and is getting paid for it, to boot. I wish more volunteers like Christine would photograph and share what she has done. However, I feel volunteers are intimidated by their paid bosses to not do so. Glad Christine did what she had to do. Good job!
First off it is not about just Lisa, the shelter has an entire board of directors, and my understanding was that Christine was asked to come to the board meeting and voice her concerns…….she never showed up! Much easier to do it in writing, Christine does not live in SC. We all have pets, we know what fleas are like, and I know for a fact that small kittens & puppies cannot have flea medication put on them. So ladies how would you get rid of those fleas on little kittens?? Has anyone ever found bugs or worms in the dog food they purchased, could it possibly have not been noticeable when it was poured into the dish? Is that even a remote possibility, did not look to me like the food was covered in worms. I do know that this shelter does not turn any animals away. Do you know any shelters who turn pets away?? Where do they go then? Shame on you Christine if you felt these animals were being treated so poorly you should have come to the meeting you were asked to attend. Also, why were you let go, we never did hear about that.
I can’t tell if you are just trolling or asking serious questions so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for now.
Christine told me she could not make the board meeting so wrote up her concerns instead. This seems reasonable to me.
She does not live in SC, I do – and I am the person who was offered an in-person meeting in NY.
Fleas on kittens – I would suggest that a bath and/or a flea comb would be helpful – and possibly lifesaving in this case. This is what we used to do in the before time.
Yes, it’s plausible to believe worms came in a bag of food. The thing is, that food should not have been fed to any pets. Furthermore, I would disagree with your standard – food does not have to be completely covered in worms before someone in the animal care business takes action or even takes notice.
I know many shelters who do not turn away pets and manage to save every healthy/treatable pet that comes through the doors. Dozens and dozens of these shelters. And they all share their statistics with the public, who acts as their partner in lifesaving. What is the reason Port Jervis is not saving its animals?
I just know you should be innocent until proven guilty, I would be horrified if animals were being mistreated, I just know there are always 3 sides to a story and all sides should be heard. I was told Christine did not attend the meeting and did not hear she wrote up any concerns. I know you do not live in the area but Christine does and if I had the concerns that she says she had I would have made it my utmost priority to be at that meeting. I have been in there a few times, have adopted pets from there, always looked clean, pets had blankets, as a matter of fact I even commented on the blankets and I was told they were donated. I know some of the workers there bring the pets home sometimes to care for them. I really find it hard to believe these animals are being mistreated. It has always been very clean when I have gone in there. Give them a chance to hear their side before crucifying them.
As you may have read in the post Barbara, I did invite them to tell their side and they declined. I also asked for their statistics, which tell an impartial story, and they declined to provide them. Anyone from the shelter is free to comment here as you did, if they have changed their mind and would like to respond.
By the way she does not get paid for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
this is utterly disgusting and someone should shut this place down!!!!!!!!What a shame!!!!!!!!!
I interpret Eagan’s answer also as a bid for plausible deniability – that is, the supposedly open offer of a discussion in person, given in the knowledge that the initial request was made by someone at a considerable distance from Port Jervis. So, when you don’t take her up on it, it’s – well, you must not care THAT much, if you won’t drive over from SC to take me up on this generous offer.
Dianne, I contacted the Humane Law Enforcement division of the ASPCA, and while they cannot directly do anything, someone from the division responded with a very personal and detailed e-mail stating various avenues to follow. I am currently assisting my sister, Christine, with exploring each and every one of them. It all comes down to “power in numbers” though and for whatever reason (which I’ll never understand), those with the most damaging evidence will not come forward. Thanks to YesBiscuit, I hope this story will finally get the attention from animal activists everywhere. My sister gave up a piece of herself with the daily heart-break she encountered and documented and she’s truly my hero.
Good Luck ladies!! don’t stop until there is change in PJ.. I am in Suffern and if there is anything I can do to help with this horrible situation, please let me know!
I’ve been thinking about volunteering at my local shelter for a while now. This article made me decide to go ahead and take the first step. According to my shelter’s site you must pay a 25 dollar fee and commit for at least a year. Is this typical? Thanks.
I haven’t come across a blatant pay-to-volunteer scheme before, unless it’s disguised as payment for a t-shirt they require you to wear or a handbook they require you to have or some such thing. Do they specify what the money is for?
That’s…weird. But as Shirley says, maybe it’s for the tee shirt or something. And must commit for a year? How could that even be enforceable? Someone with a serious bug up their butt wrote those rules, I’m sure.
It does cover a name tag, manual and shirt.
Twenty five dollars isn’t the end of the world but I thought it was odd. When I lived in Memphis I volunteered at two no kill rescues and was never asked for money or a year long commitment.
It is weird – I would think it would be covered under operating fees, but I guess not everyone thinks so.
Maybe it’s an effort to reduce turnover and/or increase reliability–a form of “serious inquiries only.” Can’t say I’ve ever actually heard of it before though!
I have seen a few rescues ask for a 6 month commitment for certain positions because of the training required. It isn’t enforcable, after all, you are volunteering. I’m sure it is more a hope on the rescue/shelter’s part than anything else.
Gross. Please continue to inform if in the event we can do anything.
More information here about the organization that calls themselves a “humane” society:
My name is Ed Turner and I am the ex employee mentioned in this blog. I started working for the Port Jervis Humane Society as a maintenance man back in August of 2011. On top of being an employee I was also a volunteer. I was getting paid for 12 hours a week and volunteering another 40-50 hours. I started to take a serious interests in the animals and there welfare. I started to work with the dogs and personally get to know them all. At one point I could tell you the name of every dog and cat in that place and why they were there.
I have worked in retail most of my life, selling has always came easy to me. When I started to take an active role in adoptions I learned quickly that I could apply my sales backgrounds to getting these dogs and cats adopted faster then they were. I started to walk people to the back kennels and tell the dogs stories to potential adopters as we went along. Before long dogs were going home at a rate of 7-10 a week. Good, loving homes. I found out tugging on the heart strings of people really worked. Euthanasia numbers virtually disappeared in both cats and dogs for almost 8 months. With a few board members behind me, some great staff and even better group of volunteers we started to hold adoption events EVERY weekend. We held one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Things were changing and they were changing for the better.
In May 2012 the new president was put in place and a new office manager was hired. Some of the old euthanasia practices had started to come back. I was not comfortable with these as now I had personally gotten to know ALL of the dogs and cats housed there. It hurt far worse to see a dog or cat you have worked with for so long die for no apparent reason but space. I could not take this and decided with a heavy heart that I could no longer work for the shelter. I quit 2 weeks later.
I don’t know much about what happened in the summer months at the shelter as because of some of MY actions I was no longer allowed at the shelter. Was I a no kill freak? No, I was not but I also could not sit by and watch innocent animals loose there lives. I take FULL responsibility for my actions and for me not being allowed there and for the longest time I had the guilt that my actions prevented me from helping as many animals as I could.
I heard things at the shelter were getting bad. From what I understood the board of directors had put a plan in place. This plan was to hire a new Executive Director that would transition into the current director leaving. This new director from what I can tell has an amazing heart, she is smart, knowledgeable and motivated to find these animals homes. She was hired at the end of August and the transition started. Soon the current director and his ways would be gone and a new youthful and creative girl would take his place.
Several weeks after this hire the office manager left and a long standing employee was hired as the new office manager. This person is also very youthful, creative, smart and passionate about saving the animals lives. Virtually the entire staff except 2 people have been replaced with new younger people who are energetic and passionate about saving lives.
With this new leadership and these new employees as well as some of the BEST volunteers an organization could ask for the humane society of Port Jervis is INDEED making strides in the right direction.
Are things perfect? No… Are there things that need to be implemented?? Of course. Like any organization or company change takes time. We have to give the NEW leadership time to change things and make them better.
NO ONE, and I promise you this is more passionate about saving animals lives then myself. I dedicated more time in a year then most people do in 5 years. I stand behind EVERYTHING I told Kerry Clair last year and it was ALL the truth but that was LAST year and this is this year.
One of the new and exciting changes that will be coming to PJHS in the coming months is the all new FREE RANGE CATTERY and this is BECAUSE of the push of loving dedicated volunteers and the approval of both the board of directors and new executive director and office manager..
Pickets, protests are all great but we are talking about the lives of ANIMALS here people. IF this shelter closes what will happen to it’s over 200 residents? Where will they go?
Change is happening and albeit it may be slow it is HAPPENING.
I beg you ALL to give the new director and the office manager as well as the board of directors time to make things right. Give them time to change things from the way they used to be run to the way they should be run and can be run!
Instead of picketing and protesting go volunteer your time to take a dog or cat out of there cage. I promise the dogs and cats will appreciate this WAY more then you holding signs, sending there potential adopters away!
For clarification, Ed Turner is not mentioned in this post nor is any ex-employee. The post is based on the documentation and observations of Christine Cotroneo, a volunteer at the shelter from August thru November 2012.
I stand corrected I am not mentioned in this blog but am mentioned a whole lot in the Pets Alive blog, Again I volunteered and gave more time at this shelter over the last year then ANYONE. When you ask me if changes NEEDED to be made, ABSOLUTELY and HAVE changes been made YES they have. Most of these PICTURES were taken BEFORE the new Shelter Director had ALL of the control and BEFORE the new office manager had been hired. I stand by everything I have said and done in the past but I don’t believe in lying. If your gonna tell a story Christine, please tell the whole thing. You knew a new director was waiting in the wings and you did not mention that. You also new a NEW office manager had been hired as well but yet again that is NOT in this article. Change takes time people and it starts with leadership and thats EXACTLY what has changed. Lets give them time to make this the shelter they can be!
Huh. Well these things that we see in the photos do not take time, they take leadership giving a rat’s ass and making the animals’ well-being a priority (which it clearly is not from the evidence).
The overcrowding, lack of sanitation, lack of food/water, contaminated food, sick animals housed with well ones, intact animals of both genders housed together, injured animals not receiving veterinary attention, etc, etc … it all says, “The animals are not a priority and running this shelter in a humane and competent fashion is not a concern.”
What is going on in those photos is what you see in a mentally ill person’s home, not what you should see in a shelter environment. If the photos do indeed document current conditions at this shelter, then this is abuse and it is actionable.
LOOK at the TIME STAMPS on the PHOTOS. Can I say it slower for you? The NEW NEW NEW Director took over November 1st, 2012. Id say you gotta give a new person more then a month don’t you?
STOP by for yourself and check out the shelter.
My understanding is they just had an inspection and passed with flying colors
Sent from my iPhone
” Id say you gotta give a new person more then a month don’t you?”
No. Emphatically, NO. What we see in the photos can be addressed and resolved within a single day. You get all of your staff together, you tell them that this is bullshit and it will stop right now. You call all of your volunteers in, you tell them that things are about to change HARD and you’ll need their help – then you assign jobs and put everyone to work. Triage, cleaning, feeding, watering. You call the local pet stores – your cat food is contaminated, can they please donate some food? Do they have any flea meds that are close to expiration? You’ll be glad to hang a sign up in the lobby telling pet owners that their store helped them out in a time of need and give them good PR!
You follow up with thanking the volunteers profusely, posting your thanks publicly on the web and ask for more volunteers to help because you’re going to need it to maintain a clean and humane shelter environment. You contact rescue groups and let them know that you are now a very rescue-friendly organization. You start marketing your animals like crazy – plastering GOOD photos and descriptions all over the place. You run PSA’s on local radio stations, you hold adoption events, you WORK to get animals out of your shelter as fast as you can, you market like it’s the only thing that can save the planet from alien invasion. MARKET.
And USE your community because it’s going to save you from going under. Would hardware stores be willing to donate paint? Would bakeries be willing to donate cookies for adoption events? Anything, everything, find it, use it, WORK IT.
A month to change is a month too damn long. This place is on fire, metaphorically speaking, and a sense of the utmost urgency should be driving everyone there.
this shelter HAS been marketing their animals for adoption! I know of several that have been adopted in the last month alone!!! And local businesses put their heart into fundraising to assist, as do volunteers…some that are not even all that local. Donations of leashes, blankets, sheets, food etc. are being made by individuals all the time. my cat came from this shelter….she was healthy when we got her….and she is still healthy today. If you are not going to go to the shelter yourself to discuss what you’re seeing on ‘social networking’ and ‘blogs’, then perhaps you shouldn’t be commenting on things you are simply not completely educated about. And this shelter is as ‘no-kill’ as they can possibly be….point in case….I have been networking one of their pit-bulls that has been there for far to long…primarily because of some food aggression/protective issues that can be corrected with the right owner. He was adopted once and brought back….he was returned again after a 2nd adoption. He is well cared for, clean and loved by the volunteers there. If this shelter was a deplorable as it is being made out to be….do you really think this dog would still be taking up space there? Don’t rely on information that you don’t know is 100% accurate.
Photographs with date and time stamps? A kitten with green goop coming out if her eyes in a cage with another kitten? Kittens dying in their cages because you can’t deal with fleas on kittens? Cages with animals but without food/water? Maggots in food dishes? These are all basics that need to be taken care of NOW! These things don’t take board meetings, committee meetings, transition times.
As long as people make excuses then things won’t change for the animals who are in this facility right now. For the love of all that is good, take care of the animals’ basic needs today.
And, if as some are saying, things are so much better today, then be open and transparent about what’s going on. I’d like nothing better than to have someone locally (not affiliated with the facility, so not invested in proving something either way) to visit and see what things look like (in the entire place, not just the “public area”) and take some photographs and share them here.
And, if you have the same concerns about your local facilities, folks, you be the Christine that visits and lets the public know what’s really going on.
If the shelter has new management isn’t this all moot? Someone needs to go back and see what conditions are like now. Then, if things haven’t improved, we can challenge them to make things better. Any shelter, at any time, can have a bad day or two if they have a lot of animals but sick workers and volunteers. Flu season is well under way, and started back in August, in some areas. I don’t know that is the cause but it is a possibility. If there was a period of transition, then maybe the outgoing manager didn’t feel as obligated to keep on top of things since she was leaving. The main thing is how conditions are today–assuming the manager position is no longer in transition. Maybe some people, living in the area, could visit the shelter and see what the conditions are. They can use their cell phones to take pictures if things don’t look right. That is the only way you are going to know what is really going on now.
I have to completely agree with mikken. It doesn’t matter what staff was changing or how long because animal care is the PURPOSE of a shelter. WHERE were the board members while this was going on? Do they never go to the shelter they are a part of running? Why did none of them see this and correct it? Plenty of other shelters experience transitions and changes in staff without compromising the care and conditions of their animals. This is disgusting, and the entire board should be ashamed of themselves for being so apathetic and ignorant that they ever let conditions get that bad in the first place. I say save the remainder of your dignity, peacefully resign and let a new board take your place. If not for us, for the animals.
Ed says the new director took over Nov 1. Christine’s letter was dated Nov 13. Shirley’s correspondence occured Dec 6-8. Soooo, isn’t the NEW director responsible for things after Nov 1 ?
That could be a tricky situation. Yes, current volunteers could take photos and let people know. Or current volunteers could be frightened from what has happened with the volunteer being fired. I’m pretty sure that many of those pictures/situations would have a common citizen’s or rescue’s animals taken away, if it is not allowed or tolerated for citizens or rescues, why should it be tolerated by a government agency that taxpayer’s pay? Should police be allowed to commit crimes? Or firefighters to commit arson? If new management wants to prove that there has been a change, they might want to “rehire” her has a volunteer to recruit others and implement the changes, to testify to the before and after. And the new management could easily show a commitment to transparency by providing the numbers and stating that he/she just started and changes are underway.
Pets ALive has offered to HELP PJHS: http://petsalive.com/blog/2012/12/12/open-letter-to-the-board-of-directors-of-the-port-jervis-humane-society/
I’m not sure where the shelter defenders are coming from in acting like this is all ancient history. If only there was an equal amount of outrage about litters of kittens dying in the cage for lack of care. I call this ENABLING.
I will say this again and VERY slow for some of you…
I AM THE GUY WHO FIRST BROUGHT ALLLLLLLLL OF THESE PROBLEMS TO PETS ALIVE AND KERRY CLAIR AND CHRISTINE, do I need to post my emails and Facebook messages??
That was 8 months ago and they did NOTHING. They thought I was a DISGRUNTLED employee LOL so now they wanna ride in on a white horse?
That was when the OLD shelter director was there and allowed these conditions!
Kittens are NO LONGER DYING under the new director. If kittens are born they are sent to a FOSTER home until they are OLD enough to go home! I MYSELF have fostered TWO litters in the last 2 months!!!!!!!!!
You people just don’t GET IT. When is te mosT RECENT timestamp on these pictures???? Can anyone tell me???? Back in OCTOBER!!!!!!
Again I’ll say it SLOW for some of you, COME TO THE SHELTER FOR YOURSELVES TO SEE TE IMOROVEMENTS THAT HAVE VEEN MADE. Any and ALL are welcome to visit.
Christine says she saw a litter of kittens dying in their cage on the last day she volunteered, less than one month ago. She asked if she could save them and was refused, then fired. I don’t think one can get much more current than that, unless there is a vol or staffer there today who would like to come forward.
That’s a lie. I am the guy who FIRST came out with the neglect people. ME. I am the former employee talked about in Pets Alive blog. I live RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FRLM THE SHELTER. If there was still neglect I’d be the first one fighting it. The NEW director took over Novemeber 1st and IMMEDIATLY instituted change!!!!! Again COME SEE FOR YIURSELVES!!!!!
Kole, You are a new commenter here and a guest. You need to tone down your comments and behave appropriately. If you have an issue with something on another blog, you should address it there. If you have an issue with this blog, you are welcome to address it in a respectful manner.
LOL Ok whatever. Pets Alive and Yes Biscuit worked TOGETHER on both blogs. If your gonna write/report on something MAYBE you should actually see it for yourself. Thanks
I am the sole author of this blog. My only source for information in writing this post was Christine Cotroneo. I did not receive any information from or provide any information to Pets Alive before posting. I like their shelter and support their no kill work but I don’t consult them, or anyone else, before posting on the blog. And I always credit my sources, as I did in this case.
Or how about telling the story about the worms in the bowl the right way? Christine noticed the worms VERY early that morning an got the office manager who RIGHT AWAY took all of the contaminated food out of the cages and threw it ALL away. That VERY day a group of great volunteers worked with staff to clean the ENITRE food storage area and instituted a working rotation to ensure this never happened again.
Why is that not in your story? Oh because she never reported that.
I’m a bigger animal lover then most of you posting here. For a year I have 50 hours of MY time cleaning kennels, walking dogs, taking cats out of there cages and changing culture. In all for animal welfare but I am also for getting ALL the facts before I write a story in someone’s word.
“I’m a bigger animal lover then most of you posting here.”
Swing and a miss. You’re out.
Notice how all the “shelter enablers” have the same type of wording and capitalizing of words for emphasis. I think they are the same troll…or maybe two people who are using the same story. “Ed Turner” copied his exact comment from Pets Alive blog. I call Troll.
Lindsay – Your comment got me curious so I just compared the “Kole” comments to the “Ed Turner” comments – dead match on the e-mail address. Which has now been banned.
I guess the question now is: Is either Ed or Kole a real person and if so, was he the actual commenter or was someone else using the name(s)?
I’d assume he actually has nothing to do with volunteering at the shelter per say but is an advocate of the current management in place. Perhaps the place isn’t all that bad (it certainly seems to be) but regardless if these are a few isolated incidents the point is they should have never occurred.
Maybe Ed Turner is a real person but I highly doubt anything he says is truthful. I believe Kole is just Ed Turner’s alias. Also I highly doubt he is an employee or ex employee for that matter. What kind of ex employee speaks highly of a place when they no longer work there? Usually its neutral or negative.
I always wonder why some people speak out so passionately FOR the shelters, but always end up repeating the same tired lines.
I am the longest standing volunteer with the Port Jervis Humane Society (since 1980) and stand behind them 100%. I have been involved with every aspect of this shelter from cleaning to adoptions and if anyone would like to speak with me, please contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org. We are NOT a no kill shelter and do not plan to become one. I know several of the staff members that have been there a long time and can tell you that they are compassionate about the animals and take pride in keeping up with the place. If you doubt our shelter or it’s cleanliness, visit other shelters like i do on weekends, and you will see that ours is above and beyond. I am PROUD to be a member of this shelter …
You are proud to support a place that needlessly kills pets and is committed to continue the killing even in the face of proven alternatives? Rather than have people contact you, I would suggest you have the opportunity to respond directly to the allegations in the post. And if you are willing to mail me a copy of your shelter’s statistics, that would be appreciated.
Every shelter should strive to be no kill. A shelter is there to do exactly that– “shelter”, not hold wonderful pets until their inevitable deaths.
ps… our doors are OPEN from Tuesday thru Saturday from 10-4:30pm and Sunday from 1-4…
As you can read from the letter they do not NEEDLESSLY kill pets! Get your facts!!
Any pet who is healthy or treatable but is killed is being killed needlessly. Also, please quit posting responses that say “get your facts”. You’ve played that one out. I’m going to be more watchful of these comments now that at least one troll has been identified.
On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM, YesBiscuit!
See, Michele, the thing is that being a long-standing volunteer who supports “every aspect” of the shelter, especially a shelter with a history of “issues” is not actually a good thing. It brands you as an enabler of shelter abuse because if you weren’t, you would have stood up and shouted from the rooftops that something was WRONG and you needed help to make changes.
To further state that you’re ok with the needless killing is just disturbing.
My local shelter has a +90% live release rate for dogs. But they’re not “no kill” (cats don’t fare as well as dogs there), so we’re working on helping them improve their numbers (note I said “kill”, not “euthanasia”, which is a different thing altogether – I’m pro-euthanasia). Why wouldn’t you want to be no kill?
Below is an open letter to the public from the Port Jervis Humane Society regarding the allegations that were made against them. All the photos have been explained, myself and many others who live in the area have been in the shelter many times, adopted pets from the shelter and NEVER witnessed any wrong doings. These allegations were false, they had just passed a surprise inspection with flying colors, this is the work of very evil people who are hurting the animals, they survive on donations from the public, how very cruel are you, shame on you! Think about the welfare of the animals people!
The Humane Society of Port Jervis/Deerpark is a non profit 501(c)3 animal shelter located in Port Jervis, NY. We are a small facility with a few dedicated staff members, as well as an equally amazing group of volunteers, who work hard to care for the animals which whom no one else will care for. We are contracted through seven towns for animal sheltering services, including Port Jervis, Deerpark, Mt. Hope, Otisville, Greenville, Highland and Lumberland. The Humane Society is contracted to house any dogs seized by the Dog Control Officers of those respective towns. We also accept all domesticated animals and in some cases, livestock, from our local area. We have also helped countless numbers of people whom have traveled up to two hours to surrender a pet to our care. We operate under the New York State Department of Ag & Markets and are subject to yearly inspections. These inspections can be announced or a surprise and can happen at any point and more than once a year.
While we are not a “No Kill” facility, nor have we ever claimed to be, we do consider ourselves to be a “Low Kill” shelter. Animals who come into our shelter, whether as a stray or surrender, are not given an “expiration date” so to speak. We do not euthanize animals based on the number of days they have been in the shelter. All stray animals are held for a period of seven days (while only 5 is required by law) before being placed up for adoption. This enables owners whose pets have going missing a chance to reclaim them. Animals are not placed through a screening program before acceptance into the shelter. We accept animals with aggression, whether it be food, toy, animal, human or a combination there of. We accept puppies and senior pets, as well as animals with health concerns. We also house animals for Rabies Quarantine for the Department of Health and local townships. We house animals that have become involved in court cases. Yes, animals are at times humanely euthanized, either by a Veterinarian or a Certified Euthanasia Technician. Animals with unpredictable aggression, animals with multiple bite histories, animals which are very ill.
The benefits of being a “Low Kill” facility allow us to continually take in and house unwanted animals. Already this year we have taken in over 450 dogs and more than 650 cats. These are animals that are picked up by animal control officers, police officers and local citizens, as well as animals that have become a victim of circumstance. These are animals whose owners have lost their job and ability to afford them. These are animals whose owners have passed away, forced to move or rejected by landlords. We receive phone calls daily to take in animals. Animals that have been refused by animal shelters boasting a “No Kill” policy and “No Kill” rescue groups all because they are at capacity.
I’d be lying if I said we have never hit capacity, that we have never said “no” to someone trying to surrender an animal because we have no room. I ask them to give me a week. Our adoption rates and return to owner rates are high, particularly for dogs. A week can make all the difference in the amount of room we have. Our door is revolving, not one way. Animals enter and leave on a daily basis. We choose not to refuse animals based on their behavior, health, age or breed. We do not turn away people completely because we are full. It is our fear that desperate owners my abandon their unwanted pets, or worse, if they are not given a place to turn to.
Our hours of operation are from 10am to 4:30pm Tuesday through Saturday and 1pm to 4pm on Sunday, closed to the public Monday. Staff can be found at the shelter every day between 8am and 4:30pm. Our doors are open to the public.
I joined the shelter in August 2012 and have recently taken on the position of Shelter Manager/Director, a position I was hired with the intention of taking upon the retirement of the then current Shelter Director. This morning there were allegations and accusations made on various posts and blogs throughout the internet, including emails, pictures, videos, etc. I would like to thank everyone for their immediate concern on the welfare and treatment of all of the animals in our shelter. There were a lot of things stated, so I am going to try and respond in an organized manner.
We have an animal intake protocol, it is posted in our office, and it has been there since just after I started my position at the shelter. I felt it was good to have an actual written protocol so there was no confusion. Every person who brings an animal in is required to fill out paperwork, even if it was a stray. Every animal is scanned for a microchip and given a quick exam, looking for any immediate or life threatening conditions. Every animal is entered into the computer data base and assigned a unique animal ID and issued a cage card. They are given a Capstar if fleas are evident, as well as a topical flea/tick medication. We have recently started collaring cats with their identification in the event their cage card turns up missing, we know who they are and can write out a new card. Cats that are surrendered together we try to keep together. No, we do NOT FIV/FELV test every cat that walks through our door. With our intake at over 600 for the year that’s a lot of cats to test. We do not (yet) have a free range cattery. Yes, we occasionally house cats together in a cage, often kittens that need the socialization of other kittens. Do cats that we kennel together always get along? No, but they are not left together.
The cats in the video were cats that were surrendered together. They lived together in a kennel for a long time with no problem. Do cats occasionally turn on each other for no particular reason? Yes. What’s worse, the fact that it happened, or the fact that it was videoed rather than stepping in to intervene?
The staff works hard cleaning and sanitizing kennels daily. Every cat is removed from its kennel, one by one, as the kennels are cleaned. Cats may be placed in a smaller crate or carrier during this process. Everything is removed from the kennels, they are washed, and sanitized and fresh newspapers line them. Then food bowls are washed and dried, then litter pans. In that order. Each room is cleaned one at a time. The rotation is the same every day. When we house 120+ cats and 50+ dogs, it may take upwards of 4 to 5 hours to clean properly. Yes, our doors open at 10. No, all kennels, particularly cat kennels may not be cleaned at this time, but I assure you there are staff members still hard at work. Animals that are going for surgery are either placed in carriers or placed back in a clean kennel without food or water. Animals, like people, are not allowed food or water 12 hours before surgery. The picture of the grey DSH female with no food/water/litter (but clean newspapers) was taken August 30, 2012. That’s a Thursday, a surgery day. She was in fact, waiting to go to the vet to be spayed.
Shortly after I started working for the shelter, I established an isolation room, a room specifically for sick cats. This is a way to house them together to ensure proper treatment and attempts to prevent the spreading of disease. We are a shelter, 80% of our cats that come to us are strays, many of them are sick upon intake. We treat all sick cats with both an antibiotic and immune supplement. There is a chart inside the sick room documenting all meds given daily. The black kitten with the green discharge from its eyes shows classic upper respiratory symptoms. Not uncommon for a shelter, but not left untreated either. Our staff members and volunteers continually clean the faces of these cats and kittens. I have personally spoken with three different veterinarians about the upper respiratory infections in our cats and the best way to treat them.
I’ll move on to the “bathroom” cats. Yes, we had a cage of cats in the bathroom for about 14 days. Please notice the gloves on top of the cage. There was also bottles of spray and cream on the counter by the sink. These cats had ringworm. We needed to completely isolate them from other cats to prevent an outbreak. They were also the LAST group of cats to be cleaned for the day, for obvious reasons. A vet confirmed the ringworm diagnosis.
The worm larva in the food is unacceptable. I was unaware of this event until recently. However, our office manager stated she was informed and IMMEDIATELY dumped the storage bin of food, washed and bleached the container and dumped every bowl of food for every cat in the room, washed and bleached them and replaced them with new food. The majority of our food is donated. I have opened both bags at the shelter and bags I have purchased on my own for my personal animals and found worm larva. This is common particularly in food packaged in brown paper. Upon learning about this, I personally spoke with all staff members to be extra diligent when dumping new food into bins.
The kittens with fleas came in at about 4 weeks old, with no mother. They were flea infested. We treated them with a capstar and they DID receive a dawn dish soap bath, because I personally bathed these kittens with 2 other staff members. Capstar works over a time frame and causes fleas to literally fall off and die. Unfortunately, these kittens were so flea infested upon arrival that they were severely anemic. They were taken to a vet and humanely euthanized. I am unsure as to who the volunteer audio recorded that she spoke to.
On to “Scuff”, the kitten with the open wounds on his neck. There were also wounds under his front leg and on his belly. He spent almost a week in a vet clinic before come to us. He had a flea collar around his neck with his front leg stuck through it, all the way to his elbow. It was there for an undetermined amount of time by the clinic. Once stabilized he was sent to us. He was treated with antibiotics and his wounds were cleaned daily and medication applied. “Scuff” is still living at the shelter, happy, healthy and healed, ready to go home.
There is a photo of a dog in a kennel with feces. This is actually our Dog Warden Room. Dogs are not housed in here. This room is kept empty in the event that a DCO or Police officer needs to bring us an animal during hours which we are closed. During the mornings, particularly when we are nearing capacity for dogs, dogs have to be removed from the main kennels in order to clean. They may be placed in the dog warden room, the exercise pen, large carriers or walked by volunteers while cleaning takes place. This dog was not left in this room for an extended period of time. I am also confident in my staff and volunteers that anyone who would have seen this dog with the feces would have remedied the situation, not merely taken a picture and walked away.
We are not required to “release information”, we are not taxpayer run. We receive no state aid. We are paid (very minimal amounts) by our townships to provide a service. No different than if the town hires a construction crew to do road work. We rely on donations from the public to keep our doors open. Our intakes are high, but so are our adoption rates.
I stand as the new Shelter Director. We have a new Office Manager. We have ideas and beliefs, we have implemented many changes in a few short months. We have protocols and guidelines that must be followed by everyone, both staff and volunteers. People who fail to follow protocols will be removed. Much as the volunteer that has made these allegations. She was not removed because of her concern for the animals. In fact, she was INVITED to a board meeting to discuss them. She was terminated for failure to follow guidelines which state volunteers are not allowed to clean without permission, supervision and training. Also for continuing to allow specific cats to play outside of their cage that she was told not to. The few times she came to me, I believe I answered all her questions and concerns in an appropriate manner.
I cannot speak much about money stolen. This happened prior to my being there. I am aware of an investigation which produced insignificant evidence to prosecute, however the employees involved were terminated.
I stated earlier we are governed by the New York State Department of Ag & Markets division. We were just recently (October) subject to a surprise inspection. We passed. This was done on a Monday around lunch. Unlike rescues without town contracts, who are governed and inspected by no one.
Every one of these pictures can be posted with a caption. They can all be taken out of context. A picture is what you perceive. So I leave you with this, our doors are open. We will gladly show you around, introduce you to our staff and volunteers, as well as all of our animals. We will be happy to answer any questions you may at that time.
Humane Society of Port Jervis/Deerpark
& The Board of Directors.
The only bright spot is that they admit they hold animal control contracts which makes them subject to FOIA. They are currently in violation of federal and state open records laws by refusing to disclose their statistics. Any member of the public can request animal records along with any other records from the Port Jervis HS and they must be provided.
On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 11:52 AM, YesBiscuit!
Also I was thinking perhaps they aren’t REQUIRED to release information–but why won’t they? That would clear up a lot. Its not that they can’t, it’s that they refuse to. They won’t.
“Animals, like people, are not allowed food or water 12 hours before surgery.”
And…no. Animals should have access to clean water at all times, even before surgery unless it is a gastric procedure. The idea of withholding water from cats and kittens eating a diet of dry food is offensive. And puppies? Do we withhold water from young puppies, too? Geez.
Severely anemic kittens were killed for being anemic? How about…I don’t know…trying to save them? Some raw beef liver can go a long way to bringing a kitten back from the brink…simple enough to try before killing them.
Words are easy to say, Katrina, but your actions in not releasing your numbers speak volumes. I really hope you are turning things around. You have to understand that we’ve heard all the right words and seen the glowing reports about certain facilities only to discover what’s really going on behind the scenes.
You see, it’s very easy to claim to save all “adoptable” animals – but what you consider “adoptable” might be very different from what others do. Fleas? Ringworm? Food guarding by a stray who has been starved? Having a block head or being too small (and too much work to save)? We also see what really goes on in the parts of the facilities where the public (and even volunteers) are not allowed to go. And we know of “volunteers” and “friends” who are not interested in doing anything but holding on to their power.
So you have to understand that when we see pictures of flea infested kittens, when we hear that killing (sorry, it’s not euthanasia – there’s a huge difference) is okay, and when we hear concerns by more than one person involved, we tend to be skeptical when we are told that things are just hunky-dory. And when those in charge refuse help to make things better, we have a lot of trouble understanding that. For you see, when adoptable animals die, it’s not okay. And we are doing all we can to stop that from happening.
Thanks for the open letter but I’d like to see the original. The wording, at times, seems odd for a shelter director.
Also Barbara, knock it off with the scolding. You say the same exact thing each time. We get it.
Obviously you are not getting it!
I am not involved in a shelter facility that kills pets despite lifesaving alternatives. I support all my local rescues, I foster any animal and especially newborn kittens, and I have never turned down anyone who needed me to help with a stray or their pets.
I’m a vet tech and I have gone out to clients homes to support them in time of need. I am always on call. I choose this and I
I get it, I think you do not. Change is needed, it is possible, has occurred successfully in other communities, and MUST be happen.
Please check your laws and your facts…They are a private company that has contracts with government agencies in order to provide them a service. They are NOT a government agency. They were not asked for financial information they were asked for their intake and outcome which is their euthanasia, which is really none of your business.
What did I just say? Oh jeez, banned.
On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM, YesBiscuit!
So, if they are contracted by animal control and we are technicially supposed to be able to obtain the FOIA requests but were denied, how do we do so?
PS–Your blog needs a “like” function :) Cuz I want to “like it” everytime you exercise your bloggy authority. How very nerd of me.
Ed Turner / Kole seems to imply in his initial post here that he and his excellent sales skills were turning the shelter around – ‘virtually no euthanasia in 8 months’ – until a new officer manager was hired in May 2012. At this point, things started to go bad again, so he promptly quit, in 2 weeks. To me these things don’t add up. THis is not a small shelter. One volunteer /part time janitor does not and cannot single handedly turn around a shelter with over 200 animals. There are other examples and hints that he is not being entirely honest, and that his arguments don’t quite add up, and his evidence flimsy at best. Why no mention of the real reasons why he was banned from the shelter? Or the fact that he contacted reporter which mysteriously disappeared? His argument sounds lucid and convincing, but if you read carefully between the lines, there are holes in his story and a rather disturbing picture of unstable and arrogant individual emerges.
From what I have read I understand Ed/Kole is engaged to the new office manager. I feel this may account for some of the back peddling… Though that is just what I have gathered from all of the comments on here, PJHS, and Pets Alive. And if it is the case that things were bad, but are better now, why not own the past, address the changes that have been made and make an appeal for more help to enact further change? Wouldn’t that make a positive out of a negative? Instead of fighting and kicking and screaming and denying everything?
I think most of us saw right through his words. I’m not even convinced he was part of the shelter for long, if at all. Good looking out though, Jadejkim.
To the person asking how to get rid of fleas on a kitten or puppy do as my vet told me wash then in dawn then use flea comb it takes longer to rid them but slow acting beats non acting.
I’m blown away that people are willing to defend a shelter with such damning evidence against it. I’d turn in my own mother if I thought she was abusing animals.
The scariest part for me so far has been the fact that many PJHS supporters call no kill advocates freaks and radicals and justify killing healthy adoptable animals as part of the status quo. So disturbing. And I just don’t get the mentality of trying to cover up the past if changes are truly being made. I have read all the blogs, all the comments and numerous of the most ardent PjHS supporters mention changes being made in their posts, which implies at least at one point there was a problem. At the same time they are painting the shelter with rainbows and fairy dust. Own the problems, show what changes have been made, and use this opportunity to ask for help from your supporters. Yes I said OPPORTUNITY. We had a problem, we have begun to enact change, we are not perfect and in order to get to where we need to be we need A, B, and C. People don’t want to see you fail they want to see you succeed in change. You need more volunteers to keep cages cleaner, now is a great time to ask! You need more animals adopted or taken by rescues to get closer to no kill, use this publicity to ask for help. You need to change the attitude that no kill is a radical idea, and make it what you aspire too. We are doing the best we can IS NOT the same as we are doing THE best for the animals. *sigh*
So what have the people at the Port Jervis Humane Society got against No Kill?
Truth and transparency, perhaps?
Euthanasia is not the same as killing. Please get rid of euphemisms. The public has heard of No Kill. Do not refer to killing as “euthanasia”.
“The definition of ‘No Kill’ hinges on the difference between ‘killing’ and ‘euthanasia’. It is in no way arbitrary. Deliberately ending the life of a healthy or treatable pet is killing. Deliberately ending the life of a medically hopeless and suffering pet is euthanasia.” – Valerie Hayes
Taxpayers are funding the facility, at least in part.
Taxpayers and donors need to know there are dozens of open-admission, cost-effective no-kill shelters in the U.S. now. They are being documented on this independent site, http://no-killnews.com/
I would think they might be asking ‘if other places are becoming no-kill communities, we might like the chance to learn and try it as well’.
Since it’s their money, there should be accountability, transparency, statistics, and metrics. How are they to know what kind of service they are paying for if no measurable data is produced? How can anyone claim things are improving at the shelter without proof?
The “because I say so” defence doesn’t hold up in court and it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
What’s the real reason the reports aren’t being released?
All that No Kill is is a commitment to put the comprehensive set of proven programs and services that the shelter works with the community to put in place to create a no-kill community. These are cost-effective and result in more donations, higher staff and volunteer retention, and more volunteers, foster placements, and adoptions. Transparency is a mandatory part of the good leadership that is required.
Unless a humane society has priorities above saving the lives of companion animals, why WOULDN’T they be willing to do what other places have done to end the killing?
Does the Port Jervis Humane Society have something AGAINST the following programs:
Trap -Neuter-Release for feral cats?
Pet Retention (help desk)?
Comprehensive Adoption Program?
Public Relations/Community Involvement?
Medical & Behavior Prevention & Rehabilitation?
High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay & Neuter?
Proactive Redemptions (returning stray pets back home)?
A hard-working, compassionate shelter director?
These are the programs and services of the No Kill Equation,
To help put things in place, there are resources and data available, people you can talk with, even whole conferences on these things. The experts on No Kill are the people in communities who have done it.
So what have the people in Port Jervis got against No Kill?
Don’t THEY get a say in this?
If they aren’t speaking up for their animals, who will?
I don’t want to feed the trolls but will just mention that WordPress is doing its job and I am grateful. Carry on.
The Port Jervis Humane Society is one of the most disgusting clinics i’ve ever been to. For the past 15 years, my family has always adopted animals from the PJ Humane society, they were always sick and in need more health care. My mother always told me the place was disgusted and was filled with workers who hated their jobs and were always rude. I adopted two puppies of my own to accompany my young beagle when my 13 year old black lab/rotti had passed away. I was disgusted by the place and the disorganization of the “office” and workers, I just wanted to get those puppies out of there and give them a good life with my two daughters. My husband and I adopted the puppies for about $300.00. They have given the puppies their shots, and told us we had to bring them back in within a month or two after the adoption, my youngest daughter had medical issues, and we forgot to bring them back in. Going through their paperwork within the past day, i realized that we never got their rabies shots. I thought since we paid for the shots, it was included in the payment we made to the Humane Society. The woman i spoke to on the phone seemed confused and put me on the phone with a woman that said her name was JILL WOOTASICK. I found no record of the woman working there, she is not on their website in the staff location, so i believe she lied about her name. She was incredibly rude, unprofessional, insulting, and obviously hated her job. She told me that, without the names that the shelter had given the two puppies, they would not be able to help us. When i explained to her the parents, the father was a boxer/pitbul and the mother named Peaches was a pitbul/docson. The woman in the background of the phone call knew who the female was and the litter of puppies that i adopted from. I explained that the women that we dealt with had blonde curly hair, this Jill went on to tell me that the two women with blonde curly hair no longer worked there and seemed quite happy about it. I told her that the puppies were named after purses, that is all that my husband and i could remember. Jill went on to say that was childish (their names at the clinic). This woman said that the puppies would have been better off not being adopted by me…..I’m sorry, but what volunteer humane society talks to people like that? This woman brought a whole new definition to the word unprofessional….I’m honestly appalled and still taken back by her behavior and the way she spoke to me. If she could speak to me and lose her temper the way she did so quickly, God only knows how she must treat those poor little animals. Animals are dependent of the care from the workers there and this woman should not be taking care of the animals and MOST DEFINITELY NOT TALKING TO CLIENTS/CUTOMERS AND/OR ANYONE IN THE WAY SHE DID TO ME. I wrote to the board of directors and the shelter director Susan Beecher. I hope to hear back that this woman was reprimanded in some way.
I have a question is this the same Port Jervis that just took in the dog that was found on the side of the road called sweet Sally? I would love to donate to her cause however after reading this blog I noticed some of the names involved/banned- if you go on to her page that I got the information from somebody commented and his name was Ed Turner who is also has comments on here and yes biscuit banned him… so I’m very hesitant to send money to this organization if it is still behaving the way it has in the past and treating these animals the way they were …..perhaps this is some sort of PR scheme to get their name out and on good terms with the public it was on the news here in New Jersey which made me start to google it i then came across this blog and read it and in the 25 minutes I’ve been reading over and going through this it blog it went from $630 – 1190 on Sally’s GoFundMe page.. Normally I volunteer at a local shelter near me and donate but having had an all white beloved pitbull myself it tugs at my heartstrings but I’m not going to send my money if it’s going to such a terrible cause I would rather find the veterinarian treating her and pay them directly I would call with my credit card information or send a check directly to the vet does anyone have any information they could provide with me?
What is the latest on PJ Humane Society? Supposedly they adopt out dogs with bite history to people with young children?