An inspector from the New Jersey Department of Health found numerous problems during a July inspection of the East Orange Animal Shelter. The full report can be read here. Among the items noted by the inspector (my summary):
- The guillotine doors in two of the dog runs were glued shut.
- Dogs were given broken beds that failed to get them off the floor.
- Kittens were fed dry food from an unlabeled bin so it could not be determined whether it was actually kitten food or something else.
- Food and water bowls were not cleaned and disinfected daily.
- Some animals were left in cages with water bowls too small for their size despite appropriate sized bowls being in plentiful supply. The small bowls were dry.
- Many animals were left without water, including a mama cat and her three kittens. The inspector asked an ACO to water them and once the water was put down, the inspector made this heart-wrenching note: “The mother cat and kittens showed signs of excessive thirst and crowded to the water bowl after it was filled. The mother cat was clenching her rear toes while drinking.” The family drank all the water and the ACO was again asked to provide water. The mother cat continued drinking from the refilled bowl.
- Cats were not removed from their cages during cleaning which consisted of wiping down the cage with a paper towel that was dipped in a cleaning solution.
- Cages were not being cleaned and disinfected properly.
- Many empty cages, including those in the cat isolation area, were left dirty after the animal was removed. Moldy food, decaying feces and other debris were left in the cages.
- Sick and injured animals were not provided with prompt veterinary care, including a cat with a fractured, swollen leg that “crunched” when palpated.
- One emaciated, dehydrated cat was vocalizing in distress. The inspector was told by the staff the cat had not been eating or drinking during the 9 days she had been at the facility. The vet had been informed of the cat’s condition one day prior to the inspection and responded he would check the cat the next week. The cat weighed 11 pounds at intake and just 4 pounds on the day of inspection. Her water bowl was empty.
- The supervising vet showed up during the inspection and the inspector asked him to take the two most severely ill cats with him to his clinic for treatment but the vet refused.
- There were no records indicating that animals were being medicated.
- Sick animals were not moved to isolation and healthy animals were put in isolation upon impound as a holding area. The ventilation for the isolation area goes directly to the general population housing.
- Surrendered animals were being killed without proof of ownership nor any efforts to locate possible owners. Some were killed the same day they were surrendered.
- Animals were not weighed prior to being killed and the controlled substance log book was not being maintained accurately. The ACO told the inspector that when the vet was on vacation for a week, they called him on the phone and he “walked them through” the killing procedure.
- The crates in the AC vehicle were cracked and broken and contained dried blood and dirt.
- Records were not kept properly and the inspector could not determine the disposition of many animals.
- The same ID numbers were given to multiple animals and cage cards did not always match the animals inside the cages.
- Some animals were unidentified, including both living and dead animals (in the freezer).
- A microchipped dog who was surrendered with an adoption contract from another facility was killed. The records did not indicate any reason for the killing nor any effort to contact the other facility to reclaim the dog.
- Animals were being scanned for microchips upon intake only and not rescanned before disposition as required by law.
Yet another house of horrors disguised as a safe haven for animals. But the truly baffling part is that this facility is in the magical north where we are told everything is daisies and My Little Pony for shelter pets because of MSN and responsible citizens. So gee, how did this happen? All the shelters shipping animals to the utopia north, take note.
(Thanks Nathan for sending me this story.)