EAST HANOVER, NJ - There was a large crowd gathered today in East Hanover near the premises of the Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter. The peaceful protest was intended to speak up and for the animals with a call to stop the abuse.
According to the protestors, animals have been denied medicine, vaccines and medial care. There were also calls to "Fire Maureen". The Maureen they are referring to is Maureen Ryan-Van Artsdalen. Van Artsdalen was hired as Executive Director on January 2, 2019.
An email that was sent to their volunteers from Sharise Spence, Volunteer Coordinator stated “they were advised that Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter has canceled all weekend volunteer activities for this weekend only. Volunteer activities will resume on Monday, September 21, 2020. Thank you for all being an important part of what we do at Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter. Your support is greatly appreciated.” This email was obtained by the Parsippany Focus and shared with TAPinto.
Based on complaints from fosters, adoptees, and ex-employees the protest group compiled a list of demands for change at the Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter.
“After reviewing all the evidence presented to us, we believe the following is critical for the health and safety of the animals in the care of Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter.”
- Replace Executive Director with a competent individual who has experience running an animal shelter.
- Make sure the Veterinarian and Vet Techs expedite medical care for sick and injured animals in their care.
- Train ALL staff in proper record keeping.
- Promote foster and volunteer relationships that benefit the welfare of the animals.
- Maintain basic equipment, supplies, medicines, and vaccines necessary for the health of the animals in their care.
- Stop bullying tactics to staff and volunteers by rewriting agreements and remove non-disclosure language
- Have financial records audited by an outside accounting firm and present a final report to the public via the website.
- Add/replace all members to the Board of Directors with members that can be trusted to oversee the shelter with compassion for animal welfare.
- Show transparency on the website by including the last 3 years of 990s, financial records, meeting minutes, and by-laws.
- Board meetings will be announced via the website and be held publicly.
- Return the shelter to an open environment where fosters, employees, board members, and volunteers have open communication throughout that benefits the welfare of the animals.
- Make Mt. Pleasant the amazing and compassionate shelter it was before the Executive Director took over.
- Rewrite the job description of the Executive Director.
- Create a separate position for a Fundraising Manager.
- All problem areas will be corrected in a timely manner in order to facilitate change at the shelter to benefit the animals, as well as the employees, volunteers, fosters, adopters, and the public at large.