Government

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.


RECOMMENDATIONS
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

Fri, December 2, 10:30 AM

Elizabeth Public Library, Elizabeth

Family Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7cb68925a018f168d932_e46715ab2d5ddd4b000e_kids

Fri, December 2, 3:30 PM

Roselle Public Library, Roselle

Board & Card Games

Education

Carousel_image_a342e556d04409bd0597_fe76fdc8269558b3cfc3_kids_teens_3

Fri, December 2, 3:30 PM

Roselle Public Library, Roselle

Board and Card Games

Education

(Update) Santa to Arrive in Roselle for Annual Tree Lighting Event

November 28, 2016

ROSELLE, NJ - (Update - The date of this event has been changed to Dec. 5. ) Santa will once again arrive in Roselle to usher in the Holiday season on Dec. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Borough Hall, 210 Chestnut Street. Join Mayor Christine Dansereau and the Roselle Borough Council as they present the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. 

*Note the date has been changed to Dec.

Princess Foundation Asking for Community Help to Help Others in Need

ROSELLE, NJ - Roselle’s own Princess Foundation, a group that works to empower and support young women in urban communities, is asking for help this winter with a special project. 

Here is the project as described by them:

As the winter months begin to settle in, we are reminded that many people are not prepared with the basic essentials to tackle the bitter cold. As a part of ...

Muhammad Wilkerson to be Helping Families and Signing Autographs for Fans in Linden Area

LINDEN, NJ - Professional football player, Muhammad Wilkerson, a member of New York’s Jets and a Linden native, will be at the Chevy's in Linden for a meet and greet with fans on Tues., Nov. 29,  from 7 p.m. to  8 p.m.      

Wilkerson will greet guests, sign autographs and pose for photos with fans, and will also be available for onsite ...

Roselle to Hold Complimentary Dinner on Thanksgiving Day

ROSELLE, NJ - Assemblyman Jamel Holley has extended an invitation to the Roselle community to attend Thanksgiving dinner with friends and other members of the community on Thanksgiving Day. 

In an invitation sent out to the community, Holley said:

The holiday season is already here and I can't wait to spend it with family and friends giving thanks for all the blessings in our lives ...

Trinitas Regional Medical Center Announces #GivingTuesday Campaign

ELIZABETH, NJ – Trinitas Health Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial support for Trinitas Regional Medical Center, launched a #GivingTuesday awareness and fundraising campaign through social media and grassroots efforts to support the new Trinitas Emergency Department.

"The Trinitas Health Foundation is thrilled to embark on this digital and grassroots ...

Football Game/Food Drive - Police vs Fire

ROSELLE, NJ - The Roselle Police and Fire departments are going at it again. This time its football! This Sunday, come out to support these men and woman who serve and protect the whole community each and everyday. 

The Roselle Fire and Police Department will hold their Annual Holiday Canned Food Drive and RFD vs. RPD Flag Football Game at the Sylvester Land Field from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Grand Jury Returns Indictment in Union Township Homicide

November 26, 2016

ELIZABETH, NJ –  A Union Township resident has been indicted by a Union County grand jury for the murder of a Maplewood man found beaten to death last  summer, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Wednesday.

Yves Marcellus, 25, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 25-year-old Matthew Murrell.

Police responded to a home on the ...

Community FoodBank of New Jersey Issues Donation Challenge for 'Giving Tuesday'

November 22, 2016

HILLSIDE, NJ - The Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) has launched a new campaign to promote Giving Tuesday. This national day of charitable giving will be Tuesday, Nov, 29.

An anonymous donor has issued a $25,000 Giving Tuesday Matching Gift Challenge. On Giving Tuesday only, every gift to the FoodBank will be doubled up to a total of $25,000. Donations of money to CFBNJ helps the food ...

Umpire Training

November 30, 2016

New Jersey State Baseball Umpires Association Cadet Class Registration

Bloomfield, NJ November 16, 2016:  The New Jersey State Baseball Umpire Association was founded in 1936 and is now 81 Years Old. The association consists of a dedicated group of men and women officials who are committed to the improvement of officiating Baseball and Softball games in our service area. We currently ...

My Epic Beauty Fails

One day as I was looking around a high-end cosmetics store for a new lipstick, a “beauty expert” approached me and said that I was so stunning I should forget the lipstick, and get a lip plumper instead. At first I wondered why I needed a lip plumper if I was already so stunning. But then I thought, “Now here is someone wearing a badge that says, ‘beauty expert,’ so ...