Helmetta Pound Mired in Failure, Director Appears Oblivious

After receiving a number of complaints regarding the Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter in NJ, the Middlesex County Health Department inspected the pound on September 26 and September 30.  The South Brunswick Post reports that the first inspection report indicated multiple problems including the importation of dogs from the south without proper health certificates, housing healthy cats in the isolation area with sick cats, failure to record identification numbers on dog and cat records, failure to record parvo test results and cages not being cleaned with appropriate frequency.

Also on September 26, a letter from the Director of the Office of Health Services for the Middlesex Department of Public Safety and Health to the Helmetta pound advised that a cat was adopted out and subsequently diagnosed with panleukopenia.  The letter indicated “that all felines adopted within the next 10 calendar days must be seen by a veterinarian and cleared for adoption prior to finalizing of said adoption.”

This lead to conflicting reports of whether the Helmetta pound was closed for adoptions or not.  Pound director Michal Cielesz further muddied the waters by making what appear to be wildly contradictory statements to the South Brunswick Post:

“We are doing our due diligence to make sure we do the right thing,” she said.
[…]
Ms. Cielesz said that there were two or three cats in the adoption room with “upper respiratory infections coming on.”

We’re doing the right thing but there are sick cats in the adoption room with healthy cats?

“The cats were checked in the morning and we had a vet here,” she said. “We were examining the kittens. The kittens were bright, alert, and responsive. We came back a half a hour later and (one had) passed away. I don’t know what happened and there was a veterinarian here.”

Bright, alert and responsive to dead in 30 minutes or less?  How does this not raise an All Hands on Deck emergency within a shelter housing 150 cats?

But this isn’t the Helmetta pound’s first rodeo.  The NJ SPCA has also issued written warnings to the facility and will conduct unannounced follow up inspections to verify compliance.  And the New Jersey State Humane Police sent a letter to the Helmetta Borough Administrator last month regarding an investigation conducted in August.  The issues detailed in that letter include “failure to supply a living animal necessary care” for 3 sick kittens and administering improper doses of medicine to animals.

The Helmetta pound kills feral cats as a matter of policy.  And not only are they importing animals from the south, they reportedly shipped a group of cats to a shelter in SC.  Gee, last I checked, we have plenty of shelter cats already in SC.  And since most of them are going to the landfill, there is no way we should be importing more from NJ.  I don’t know what brain trust was behind that brilliant plan but hopefully they’ll go back to their day jobs soon.

In the meantime, the Helmetta pound director dismisses critics because haters gonna hate:

“It’s a personal campaign,” Ms. Cielesz said. “It’s not about the animals. I don’t think this (controversy) benefits the animals.”

Well it doesn’t “benefit the animals” in the same way that housing sick cats with healthy ones does or setting up shop as an animal importer/exporter when you can’t manage to get vet care for sick kittens or even notice when one is just minutes away from death.  But yeah, it’s prolly a personal thing.  Whaddaya gonna do?

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

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8 Comments

  1. Jacque OConnor

     /  October 9, 2014

    Anyone ever report on the Bisbee animal Shelter (which has been a mess for years and within the last year closed for organizational and facility improvements)? Jacqueline O’Connor POB 2552Sierra Vista, AZ 85636(520) 335-1799 The greatest menace to freedom is inert people. (Louis Brandeis, 1927)No one loves armed missionaries.  (Maximilien Robespierre)  If the good people don’t go into politics, the scoundrels surely will.       (Judge    Levi S. Udall).  Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power.  (Bradley Manning, 8/21/13)         

    Reply
  2. God Almighty. Another “it’s just disgruntled people being mean to us because we’re working really hard!!!1!”

    Tell you what – how about you get a grown up in charge there and then we can see how things turn around, okay?

    How DO they find these people? And WHY do they pay them money?!

    Reply
  3. me

     /  October 10, 2014

    They are NOT oblivious. They know exactly what they are doing as far as how to make lots of money for themselves The whole town is corrupt with lawsuits against the Mayor from the police to nepotism to this. The whole group of them came from another town after being let go. the corrupt foursome is doing everything they can to save themselves. They don’t give one dog biscuit about those animals. Go here ans see the WHOLE story- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Reform-Helmetta-Regional-Animal-Shelter/309777402517147?fref=nf

    Reply
  4. CJ

     /  October 10, 2014

    These people are horrific. Everywhere they go they make killing a priority. The were at Perth Amboy, same thing. I don’t understand why they still there, why is it so difficult to “let them go” and bring good, compassionate people in? For God’s sake, the animals should be a priority. I am not for closing the shelter, I am for replacing the management. Save NJ animals! Stop shipping them elsewhere and bringing ones from other states. We have too many in NJ in need of help.

    Reply
  5. Helmetta’s shelter is all about “pure profit”, nepotism and cruelty. Many more details here:

    http://njanimalobserver.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/helmettas-hellhole-of-a-shelter/

    Reply
  6. All of the documents to back up what is being said here can be found at this facebook page Reform Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter Group. We will be protesting this coming Saturday, October 18th from 12pm to 3pm. Bring a sign and come help us help these animals.

    Reply
  7. Looks the karma bus is gaining speed on peeps over there in Helmetta. It appears like they are “running out of steam”. It won’t be long now, soon that bus is gonna run them over. Karma’s a bitch..

    Reply
  8. izzyvanover

     /  November 19, 2014

    This Shelter is the epitome of many other Shelters in the Country! I hope we can get many more inspections and work accordingly! One by one They need to be closed down!

    Reply

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