Government

Cranford Township Committee Approves Pet Adoption Ordinance Amidst Strong Feedback

fdd11dcc7834dce17c6d_DSCN1800.JPG
Jeff Morton, President of Shake-a-Paw Pet Stores, accused the Humane Society of providing false and misleading information to the Township Committee. Credits: Leah Scalzadonna
3693af51b5615c1cbc5d_DSCN1803.JPG
The Township Committee approved the ordinance by 2 "yes" votes, 2 "abstain" votes and one absence. Credits: Leah Scalzadonna
fdd11dcc7834dce17c6d_DSCN1800.JPG

CRANFORD, NJ – Public comments grew contentious at Tuesday night’s Cranford Township Committee meeting as the committee approved an ordinance to restrict the sales of dogs and cats.

The ordinance requires that a pet shop may only offer for sale cats and dogs that the pet shop has obtained from an animal care facility or animal rescue organization. Additionally, a pet shop may not offer for sale a dog or cat this is younger than eight weeks old.

As such, a pet shop must maintain records with the name and address of the organization that each animal was obtained from for at least two years following the date of acquisition.

Sign Up for E-News

Although Cranford does not house a pet store that sells dogs and cats, pet store owners from neighboring towns sparred with representatives from the Humane Society and other animal welfare organizations.

According to Jeff Morton, president of Shake-a-Paw pet stores, the data provided by the Humane Society is “filled with lies.”

“In Union County, 290 dogs were euthanized, according to the Humane Society,” Morton said. “The real number of dogs euthanized in Union County is 34. That’s a big difference.”

Morton, who is also a member of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council as well as a Certified Animal Control Officer and Cruelty Investigator by the State of New Jersey, said the ordinance is driven by animal activists with a political agenda.

New Jersey already has the strictest regulations in the state when it comes to pet stores, according to Morton. His statements were supported by Cindy Knowles, owner of Furrylicious Pet Salon & Boutique. According to Knowles, the state did not pass the ordinance, so the Humane Society is going from town to town.

On the opposing side, representatives from the Humane Society claim that Morton and Knowles do not tell the whole story and take dogs from breeders who do not care about the welfare of their animals.

“Legitimate pet stores do not want to sell dogs and cats that come from breeders,” Larry Cohen from the Humane Society argued. “Mr. Morton wants to bring up numbers. He does not want to add that after the Pet Protection Act was enabled, the state went out and inspected the pet stores to see if they were in compliance. 26 of them were not, including his. He signed a consent agreement for a fine for not following that law.”

Commissioner Ann Dooley asked for a clarification of the data from Cohen. Cohen said he only had information from 2015.

“I don’t know who to believe here,” Dooley said. “I cannot vote to enact a law based upon such widely divergent data and important facts, no matter how noble the cause.”

Others against the ordinance told the township committee that there are too many regulations put in place that make it nearly impossible to adopt a pet and that doing so prevents them from owning their desired breed.

“I work very hard trying to get a lot of dogs and cats adopted and it’s virtually impossible,” Denise Archer, who works in the veterinary field, said. “You can’t tell someone that they cannot buy the dog of their choice because there are people that don’t agree with it, and that’s what’s happening in this country. Everybody’s telling us what we can and cannot do. They [Morton and Knowles] have a business. If they’re doing something wrong and it’s a violation, then you get inspectors in there. Don’t take someone’s livelihood away because you don’t agree.”

The ordinance ultimately passed, with Dooley and Deputy Mayor Patrick Giblin abstaining. Mayor Thomas Hannen Jr. and Commissioner Mary O’Connor voted yes, and Commissioner Andis Kalnins was absent.

“I must tell you that I am very, very concerned about how different organizations have made adopting a dog almost out of reach with inspections that the adopting agencies have now put in place,” Hannen said. “I am going to support this ordinance reluctantly, but I have to tell you people that you’ve got to clean up your act if you want more dogs adopted.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Cranford

Boxwood Coffee in Downtown Westfield Holds Soft Opening

July 20, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Boxwood Coffee is officially open in Downtown Westfield.

The coffee shop and café, at 143 East Broad St. where Panera was, hosted a friends and family event on Wednesday evening to celebrate what owner Stephen Bellamy is calling a “slow open.”

“We are planning to phase in items like our made-to-order menu and we are looking forward to our ...

Rutgers Hikes Tuition, Student Fees for 2018-2019 Academic Year

July 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University Board of Governors today approved a 2.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, as well as increases for dorm rooms and meals, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The increase now brings the annual cost for undergraduate students to $14,975, which is $337 more than this past school year.

Student housing will increase 1.9 percent, and ...

Kid Make Their Own Pizza

July 20, 2018

Parents, looking for something special and fun for your kids on the weekend?

Emma's is now hosting "Kids Make Their Own Pizza" on the weekends. Also, we are now booking kid parties!

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_55b9e457615c2b750c08_pj_

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Emma's Brick Oven, Cranford

Emma's Kids Night Out!

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_1846639792ec11d13114_cranford_july_25_mets_flyer_2018-page-001

Wed, July 25, 2:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

Cranford Emergency Blood Drive - Pair of NY Mets ...

Giving Back Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_574768912fb23a4cacc7_bfeb2b8d2a5b0913fb60_2f2194e6f686708fbbc3_pd_fd_bbq

Sat, July 28, 12:00 PM

Clark Recreation Center, Clark

Clark PD vs Clark FD BBQ Cook-Off

Food & Drink Police & Fire

Tired of Cronyism? Yeah, Us Too!

July 20, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...