Failing grade; Animal shelter fails inspection

The bad news keeps rolling in for the Hudson County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Jersey City. First, there was a dog beating incident, followed by a failed inspection, and most recently, a court date. Thursday, shelter board members Jack Shaw and Ed Pulver appeared in municipal court, where they pled not guilty to two charges of failure to provide veterinary care and failure to quarantine an animal. The case will be moved from municipal court, but a decision on the new venue has not yet been reached. Recently, Tom Hart, the former Ward D Councilman, was named director of the shelter. He will replace Shaw, who will nevertheless remain on the board. On July 3, two weeks after the still-contested beating incident at the SPCA, the state conducted an investigation of the Johnston Avenue facility. According to copies of the state inspection and a letter from state Senior Public Health Veterinarian Colin Campbell, the inspection, conducted by Robert Vogt and H. Boor, both of the Jersey City Division of Health, resulted in an “unsatisfactory rating.” The shelter was found to be in violation of eight of the thirteen sections of state law that cover the operation of kennels, pet shops, shelters and pounds. The following is a list of those violations: Violations • Section 1.2 – There was no certificate of satisfactory inspection by local fire officials posted. • Section 1.3 – Eight dogs were noted to have tick infestations. Euthanized animals were stacked in hallways in open bags. • Section 1.4 – There were strong odors in the euthanasia room, which is not ventilated. The sick room was filthy. One of the freezers to hold animal bodies was encrusted with blood, resulting in strong odors. • Section 1.6 – Six dogs in the puppy area were in cages too small for them to stand or lie in a comfortable position. Cats held for more than 15 days are being held in cages that are too small and without litter boxes. • Section 1.8 – Animal enclosures were not sanitized daily. • Section 1.9 – The supervising veterinarian, Dr. Syed, was last at the facility on May 4, 2000 and is currently out of the country indefinitely. There were several dogs in the kennel area with signs of respiratory disease that were not segregated from healthy dogs. Staff reported that when Dr. Syed is not available, no veterinary care is provided to the animals. • Section 1.12 – Animal enclosures in the animal transport vehicle (plate number NF 232) were not cleaned after animals were removed. • Section 1.13 – There are no records for cats prior to June 2000. Dog records were incomplete and inaccurate. The state has ordered a reinspection of the facility. According to the July 3 letter from state veterinarian Campbell, “Failure to take appropriate corrective action to bring this facility into compliance will result in the initiation of enforcement procedures, including assessment of fines, as provided by law.”


© 2000, Newspaper Media Group