City of Linden’s Ad Hoc Animal Control Proposes Overhaul of the City’s Animal Control Facility

August 13, 2014 at 9:38 PM

LINDEN, NJ – The following is a press release by the City of Linden’s Ad Hoc Animal Control

The City of Linden’s ad hoc Animal Control Committee is proposing to overhaul the City’s Animal Control Facility and practices after a thorough and continuing review of same.

The review was undertaken after concerns regarding the facility were brought to the attention of the Mayor and Council. The City Council formally established the Committee in June, consisting of Chair and Councilwoman Michele Yamakaitis, Councilman Adam Kuczynski, and Councilman Armando Medina. The Committee also worked very closely with Linden Mayor Richard Gerbounka.

Sign Up for E-News

The Committee reviewed claims relating to the Facility, including claims that were mere rumors, or duplicative.   As one of its first measures, the Committee requested that the City of Elizabeth’s Health

Department examine and inspect the Facility to:

1)  Make sure there were no signs of animal abuse or neglect; and

2) Evaluate the current structural housing and building.

The Committee also visited Woodbridge Township’s Animal Control Facility to review their practices, to tour their building, and further the Committee met with professionals in various fields, including regional volunteers, to best understand the issues relating to animal control.

“This was something the council didn’t take lightly. It was my intent as Chairperson to make sure we investigated every complaint, to the greatest extent, even if it delayed our findings. We did make immediate recommendations to modify and review certain aspects of current procedures out of an abundance of caution,” said Chairwoman Yamakaitis.

In response to the many findings, the Committee has determined both short-term plans and long-term goals:
Short-Term Plans
1)  The Committee recommended that all euthanasia procedures stop on the Animal Control premises, with the exception of extremely injured or sick animals.  Instead, any euthanasia procedures are to be performed at a local, contracted veterinary clinic.

2) The Committee recommended capital improvements be undertaken to the facility to assume that the facilities remain viable as an animal control facility, including replacing doors, gates, lighting/electrical work, landscaping, ventilation work, and equipment maintenance, as necessary.

3)  The Committee recommended the exploration and use of additional means to advise the public of animals within the facility, with regard to the animals’ well-being and the owners’ right to reclaim the animal, if lost.   This includes posting photographs of the animals with the location, as soon as possible after collection.

4)  The Committee recommended changes and upgrades to record-keeping, with short-term fixes including the installation of a copier, when feasible, to make copies of adopter identification and duplicate case files, with the eventual goal of upgrading to successful record-keeping strategies of other animal shelters, such as the Woodbridge Animal Shelter.   In order to quickly establish this initiative, all individual adoptions will be handles through the Friends of the Linden Animal Shelter, adopting their procedures and protocol.

5)   The Committee recommends the establishment of a “Wounded Animal Fund” to treat injured animals the Animal Control has found.   This fund would be made up of volunteer donations.
Long Term Goals


1)  The Committee recommends the demolition of the current Animal Control Facility and the building of a new facility that is tailored to the needs of the animals and those who wish to assist and volunteer.   The Committee is projecting this facility to be mostly financed by donations and private funding through different channels, as available, rather than taxpayer dollars.
2)  As such, the Committee recommends that the City of Linden’s need for animal control services be bid out and privatized for the coming year (2015), and until the new facility is constructed.

3) The Committee recommends notifying all regional municipalities that utilize Linden’s Animal Control services of the coming change.

4) The Committee recommends a new strategy and partnership with an animal rescue group, as is done in other municipalities, to assist in the maintenance and adoption of the animals.
Most of the short-term suggestions were immediately implemented and are being performed as materials, financing, and ability became available. The long-term goals will require Council approval and are subject to the ability to find funding and volunteers.

“There have been many concerned individuals that have come forward,” said Linden Mayor Richard Gerbounka. “And it is my hope that we can harness this energy and project it forward to funding, building, and maintaining a new Animal Control facility.
Gerbounka pointed out that there was a delay in truly upgrading the facility on a grand scale due to the proposed Union County Animal Control Facility that was to serve all of Union County. However, that project stalled over the years and eventually failed.

“Our facility certainly wasn’t the best in the area, but we attempted to maintain it with reasonable standards while Union County was proposing a county-wide facility. Many of these issues came with age, which would require larger scale remodeling with a large cost associated, and this remodeling would have been moot if Union County built a facility that would have not only been more modern, but larger.”

But, Gerbounka and the rest of the Committee quickly recognized the need for a new facility after inspecting the site and visiting other facilities.

“In order to adequately serve the animals of this region, we need to work together with those who are experts in this field,” said Councilman Adam Kuczynski. “These animals come from a variety of circumstances and backgrounds, whether lost, neglected, or abused.   So, it will take a concerted effort and time to create an agency that can handle these challenges and adopt out as many of these animals, as possible.”

Unfortunately, there has also been misinformation on social media and other outlets regarding the current Animal Control facility and practices.

“We immediately set out to either verify or debunk these claims as can be expected.  We began to recognize that some of the claims had some validity, which we addressed as quickly as possible.   But, we also began to see that many did not have merit, as it seems that they were propagated rumors, duplications, or misunderstandings which often occur in the social media realm.   However, we felt it was important to examine every claim that we found,” Yamakaitis said. “It is just unfortunate that the false information slowed down our efforts a bit.”

Moving forward, the Committee plans to continue its focus on the long-term goals while following up on the short-term solutions at the current site.

“We wanted to thank all those who have shown their concern for these animals,” Yamakaitis said on behalf of Kuczynski and Medina. “And we want to ask you to help us move forward and fix the issues we found.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Roselle/Roselle Park

Upcoming Events

Sat, January 21, 2:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

Play Reading by The Theater Project

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, January 21, 6:30 PM

Church of the Assumption, Roselle Park

Best Pizza Around Tasting & Competition

Food & Drink

Mon, January 23, 3:00 PM

Elizabeth Public Library, Elizabeth

Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Assistance

Health & Wellness

Roselle Releases Garbage and Recycling Schedule for 2017

January 17, 2017

ROSELLE, NJ - The officials from the Roselle Department of Public Works (DPW), released the Garbage and Recycling schedule for 2017. 

The schedule shows no bulk pick up for the entire month of January. Bulk trash for the East Side will be the first Wednesday of the month and West Side will be the third Wednesday of the month.

The garbage pick up days will remain the same. For more ...

TAPinto Launches Free TAPinto App for iPhone and Android: Download it Today

ROSELLE/ROSELLE PARK, NJ - launched a free TAPinto App today for iPhone and Android, enabling readers to obtain their local news and events in a fast, easy-to-use application.  With this launch, TAPinto becomes one of the only local news publications in the country to have its own App.

The TAPinto App not only features news and events, but also enables readers to receive ...

Trash and Recycling Schedule to Remain the Same

ROSELLE, NJ - Residents are to continue to follow the same trash and recycling schedule as normal until the new notice is distributed. The  Department of Public Works (DPW) staff are working to finalize the 2017 Trash and Recycling Schedule.

Currently, Borough Administration states that with the exception of Holidays, all trash and recycling dates will remain the same. There will be no ...

Winter Weather Advisory Issued for Roselle and Roselle Park

ROSELLE/ROSELLE PARK, NJ - A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Roselle and Roselle Park until 10 p.m. Saturday evening by the National Weather Service. 3” to 5” is expected. 

Roselle:  Plows are out in full force and residents should park in driveways if possible to allow for plows to properly clean the streets. 

Roselle Park:  Residents and guests ...

Free Public Wi-Fi at Warinaco Park, Mattano Park and Other Union County Facilities

January 20, 2017

ROSELLE/ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced that free public Wi-Fi access is available now in six new parks throughout the county. There are now a total of 11 county parks and facilities that offer free Wi-Fi.

“We are committed to ensuring that our recreation facilities are up to date and welcoming to a broad range of activities,” said ...

Scotch Plains JCC Deemed Safe After Bomb Threat

January 18, 2017

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — The Jewish Community Center of Central New Jersey was closed for a short time after preschool began there Wednesday morning due to a bomb threat. A bomb squad swept the building for explosives and no bomb was found, according to Lt. Jeff Briel of the Scotch Plains Police Department.

“This is another in a series of bomb threats to JCCs up and down the ...

Thank You Westfield!

January 16, 2017

Almost five years ago Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss, opened its doors in Westfield, thanks to the vision and generosity of Dr. Gerald Glasser and the leadership of Keith Hertell, our first board chair, and all the other founding board members.  We opened our doors on the  third floor of the First United Methodist Church and started our program.

Since then we have served over ...

Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce to Present Trinitas Health and Wellness Expo Feb. 26

January 19, 2017

The Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce (GWACC) will present the Trinitas Regional Medical Center Health and Wellness Expo on Sunday, Feb. 26, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Snuffy’s Pantagis, 250 Park Avenue in Scotch Plains.  The expo is free to all attendees.

“With the limitless choices of health and wellness practitioners, we thought the public would ...

Mayor Dansereau: Conversations with the Community

ROSELLE, NJ - Mayor Christine Dansereau gives an update on the monthly “Conversations with the Community” meetings and other town updates. Conversations with the Community is a citizen driven dialog of viewpoints and fresh ideas, along with getting answers to questions about the town. 

Meetings take place on the first Tuesday of every month in the Baker ...