SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Village Administrator Barry Lewis vowed that South Orange will do everything in its power to reverse a recent court order allowing the Jersey Animal Coalition to reopen the animal shelter on Walton Avenue.
Superior Court Judge Dennis Carrey III ordered that the shelter, previously under quarantine since a March 12 inspection found dozens of health code violations, be allowed to resume normal operations on a temporary basis.
Lewis noted that the order was served without any notice to or input from the village, but that the village will complete its response sometime in the next couple of days and hopes to have the order reversed.
“There are outright falsehoods in the moving papers,” he said. “We are confident that when all the facts are known, the judge will take the appropriate steps with the interest of the animals in mind.”
However, William Strazza, attorney for the JAC, said that the animals at the shelter have never been better since the judge granted the JAC "emergent relief." The term applies to an issue of such urgency that relief cannot wait until the outcome of a trial.
“My client is very happy to announce that since the court intervened, many animals previously living at the JAC shelter have been adopted and have been placed in loving homes,” said Strazza. “Naturally, the JAC is disappointed that South Orange appears as if it does not intend to bring animals to the JAC, as none have been delivered since the Court lifted the quarantine. This disappoints the JAC because of its no-kill mission, and because now, the residents of South Orange are paying for a service which the JAC has provided for over a decade at no charge.”
The Jersey Animal Coalition Fans Facebook page announced the adoption of three dogs and two cats.
Lewis confirmed that the JAC is still not the village’s primary intake shelter.
The village and the JAC are due to meet in state Superior Court in Essex County on Aug. 20 to take the first steps in the lawsuit filed by the shelter on July 7. The court session is open to the public.