LINDEN, NJ - After many allegations of unsanitary conditions and other alleged violations, the Linden Animal Shelter was investigated by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and found to have 23 violations, according to Daniel Emmer, state Health Department spokesman.

The most significant violations noted were:

*The building was considered unsafe due to structural defects (weight-bearing cinder block wall deteriorating)
*The improper use of drugs when euthanizing animals
*No documentation that a licensed veterinarian established and is maintaining a disease control program at the shelter
*Inadequate cleaning and disinfection
*Incomplete record keeping

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The shelter is part of Linden animal control and under the direction of Linden's Health Department. Linden's animal control operations also serve Clark, Roselle, Rahway, Winfield Township and Fanwood.

Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley told TAP into Roselle/Roselle Park, “We will be dropping our contract with the at the end of the year.”

Hours later, it was reported on The Local Source that Linden is shutting down the facility at the end of the year.
For the John family of Roselle, it does not help ease the pain of the loss of the family's 15-year-old pit bull, “Chaos” who escaped from the family's home on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. Chaos was discovered missing when Lana John arrived to take the dog for his usual 6 p.m. walk.

According to John, a search ensued that included calling animal control, where they got no answer or a return call.
On Saturday, Sept. 7, the family went to the Roselle Police Department and was told Linden Animal Control had taken the dog to an area animal hospital because he was having trouble walking. When they called the hospital, it was closed, but they were given an emergency number to call, John said.

John said when the family called the number, it was for a veterinarian in Tinton Falls who had no information. The family even drove to the local animal hospital hoping someone would be there, but when no one was, they had to wait until Monday, Sept. 9 to pick up the dog, John said. By that time it was too late.

In the John family's case this could have been avoided and Mayor Holley is looking for solutions. One could be to have a “Chip Scanner” at the police department. If police pick up a local dog and it is chipped, they could immediately return it to the owner without the worry of what will happen to the pet once it reaches animal control.

Shelters are required to hold animals for at least seven days. In the case of the John family, that did not happen.