NJ Department of Health Investigating Linden Shelter

The city of Linden, NJ operates a shelter where they impound animals from several area cities.  The shelter failed its last inspection.  Animal control falls under the city health department.  Now the state health department is investigating the facility:

“The department is investigating numerous complaints received about the holding of animals at Linden Animal Shelter relating mostly to animals not being held appropriately, unsanitary conditions and improper euthanasia,” state Department of Health communications manager Daniel Emmer said in an email.

Linden Mayor Richard Gerbounka says the allegations are “a total lie and an exaggeration” which seems to be wildly contradictory but hey, I didn’t go to Mayor School.

“Our goal is always to unite animals and their owners. And although we have the right to euthanize an animal, our policy is to try working with rescue groups to find good homes for animals that are not claimed.”

They have the right to kill any animals of their choosing.  But they have goals, which you know, kinda balances everything out.

Only animals that are not adoptable, because of age, illness or poor temperament, are euthanized, said Linden Health Officer Nancy Koblis, who oversees animal control.

Not adoptable and euthanized are my least favorite euphemisms in the world.  And in the mouths of killing apologists, they always seem to fall out together.

On Friday September 6, 2013, an area family’s 15 year old pitbull accidentally got lost.  The family began searching for him immediately and called Linden AC but no one there bothered to pick up the phone or call the family back.  The next day, the family went to the local police department and was told their dog had been picked up by Linden AC and taken to an area vet hospital.  They called the hospital, called the hospital emergency number and even drove there in hopes of finding their beloved pet.  The only person they were able to speak with was a veterinarian who had no idea what they were on about.  The family was forced to wait until Monday morning.  But as it turns out, their pet had been killed shortly after arrival at the vet clinic on Friday.  Linden Health Officer Nancy Koblis explained:

“It was an older dog and was not in good shape. The recommendation was to euthanize, which is what we did.”

According to the hospital’s medical history report, the dog was underweight, had a small tumor and was walking with difficulty, possibly from severe hip arthritis.

Yep, sounds like a 15 year old pitbull.  Who was dearly loved by his family who was looking for him and being given the runaround by pet killers.  But nobody WANTS to kill animals, ‘specially on Friday afternoons before quitting time for the weekend.  They have goals there and stuff.

Another complaint made against the Linden shelter from an area resident concerns the hosing of filthy dog runs with dogs still inside.  The resident is upset that the dogs are sprayed with their own urine and feces under the guise of “cleaning”.  But the mayor says people are mistaking what sound like spa days at the pound for mistreatment of animals:

“Our animal control officers do spray the dogs on a hot day and they enjoy getting a shower,” the mayor said. “If someone sees that, they might think something is improperly being done.”

What’s the wording again – a total lie and an exaggeration?  It’s growing on me.

AND there are improvements:

The facility also is making a more visible attempt to reunite animals and owners.

“We’ve done it all along, but probably not as much as people would like us to do,” Koblis said.

Probably not as much as the owners of the 15 year old pitbull we killed on a Friday afternoon then tried to hide so we could at least enjoy our beers over the weekend would like but hey, there’s no pleasing some people.

Workers at the shelter will be taking pictures of animals at the shelter that will be placed on the Internet by a rescue group in hopes that owners will be located, she said.

With no computer access at the facility, she said, animal control workers are unable to search the Internet for missing dogs.

Gee, they are going to start taking pictures.  Welcome to 2014.  But they don’t have computer access and there is no possible way to get that in New Jersey apparently.  Plus they don’t want to encourage the unwashed masses to come in trying to save lives or anything like that:

While the shelter has walk-ins who are looking to adopt, Koblis said, “we would rather give them to rescue groups, who will put them up for adoption.”

“We are not an adoption facility,” she said. “We do animal control. We hold the dog for at least seven days. Hopefully, the owner will come and look for it.

And by hopefully, I take it she means hopefully not since obviously they don’t hold all the dogs for 7 days – or 7 hours even – and nobody really feels like answering the phone or calling back owners looking for their lost pets.  But let’s not criticize.  For the love of ponies – these people have no computer access!

(Thanks Arlene for the link.)


8 thoughts on “NJ Department of Health Investigating Linden Shelter

  1. this kind of thing REALLY bothers me.. as a pet owner, a past breeder of dobermans and as someone who loves her pets. ALL of her pets… the ‘perfect’ ones and especially the ones that are not-so-perfect…

    I see more and more of these horror stories about well loved, well cared for pets that are killed by shelters within hours (sometimes LESS) of being found… AC making command decisions to kill based on… not much… to kill a dog or cat.

    Not answering the phones, or outright lying to owners searching for their pets, or to rehome organizations offering to take a dog (or cat).

    Why is there NO oversight on these facilities?
    Why are there no (or few) regulations (and no consequences for breaking the few rules some of them claim to have)?
    Why are standards of cleanliness not in place (and enforced)?
    Why are there few to no standards WITH enforcement for disease control and prevention?

    And the conditions in some of these facilities… if a breeder or a pet owner or a rescue kept dogs or cats in the same filthy and yes, DEPLORABLE (the favored word for the thieves… err… raiders) conditions the animal rights brigade would be pounding on the doors, pitchforks and torches in hand, and rope for the lynching.
    Why does the Shelter Pet Store get a pass?

  2. This makes me sick to my stomach! They lie to cover their asses but what about the poor dogs they killed. They all had someone who loved them and these assholes couldn’t care less. Why don’t shelters do their job and stop making excuses for the lousy job they are doing?

  3. Thank you for writing about the terrible Linden pound. This “shelter” actually has good funding, approximately $730 per impounded dog and cat, but the leadership is atrocious. You can see several citizens speak about the facility at the 2 hr and 21 minute mark of the video below. At the 2 hr and 56 minute mark, you can hear the City Health Officer, speak which shows where the problem lies. This meeting was from April and little got improved.

  4. Thank you to the person that provided the video of the city meeting. Those that spoke about their concerns regarding the animal pound were eloquent and it made me feel so bad for them. They were so sincere in explaining the problems there and the need for immediate improvement. It is plain that voices must be heard and that those elected officials have a responsibility and a duty, morally and lawfully to fix the things that are wrong. The animals deserve better and the citizens deserve better.

  5. Thank you for this article. This has been going on for so long. I hope that something positive will come of it. But frankly, unless you have people working there that give a damn, nothing will change. Linden Health Officer Nancy Koblis HAS TO GO! Nothing will change with her there. Linden has to get some balls and fire her.

  6. They do not hold the dogs for seven days! After searching for a cute beagle we found one that was taken in from Linden Animal Control. We were told by Linden Animal Shelter we had to wait seven days to see if the owners would claim the dog. The owner never claimed the dog and to our surprise they adopted the dog out after four days, no return phone calls ever. We resorted to calling towns officials and Governer Christies office and did get our dog. They blatantly lie and The conditions where they keep the dogs are disgusting!

  7. I found an adult cat who was healthy, except for a missing left eye. The people at the shelter said that the cat would only be put down cause he had no left wye! The cat had a collar, and tags but the number on the tag was an old number on it. I asked the shelter if they had a way to check of the cat at a chip or if someone called the shelter looking for an adult tuxedo cat. They said they couldn’t do that! What type of shelter does that? I thank God that we found the owners, but I was worried if one of my cats got out cause they said that they will put any homeless animal to sleep! It is a shame too, I’ll go insane if my fur babies got out and put down within hours of being caught. My heart goes out to that family! My mother’s dog was old and had tumors, the vet said she lost weight due to the cancer but she was too old to go thru cemo.. They don’t know what was the reasons the dog was underweight, when an animal is passed a certain age, they medicate the animal so the last few months they don’t suffer..

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