Letter to the Editor: Sending Stray Animals to AHS Shelter is ‘Shameful’

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This letter to the editor first appeared in EssexCountyPlace.com

To the Editor:

I lived in Maplewood for 35 years and have been a volunteer and Trustee of the Jersey Animal Coalition (JAC) for over 25 years.

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The firing of Maplewood ACO Debbie Hadu has reminded the public that our communities are now without a shelter, and that even if she were allowed to stay on, she would have no place to bring Maplewood strays other than the high-kill facility with which South Orange and Maplewood have contracted.

I would like to point out that for the past ten years, Maplewood and South Orange have had the benefit of services of Jersey Animal Coalition’s no-kill shelter at no cost to them and the taxpayers.

During these ten years, JAC accepted and lovingly cared for all South Orange and Maplewood stray animals without compensation from either town. No animal was turned away. Medical treatment was provided when needed. Lost pets were reunited with owners during and after the 7 day state mandated holding period. No animal was euthanized. All were adopted into caring homes.

lettertheeditorThese communities benefited from an outstanding Humane Education program both in our shelter and beyond, including visits to public and religious schools, providing countless opportunities for Community Service, Boy and Girl Scout participation in attaining badges, a teaching facility for Veterinary Technician students, and much more. Above all, JAC strove to make these communities outstanding examples of compassion, not only for their two legged citizens, but their four legged residents as well.

Needless to say, the closing of the JAC Shelter is not only a loss to local communities, it is an even greater loss to the animals for whom we would have cared and saved – [many] of whom are now being killed in Newark and are beyond our saving. This is a shameful situation, and I would hope the people of Maplewood and South Orange are outraged by what is happening to these helpless pets.

Lila Wasserman
Jersey Animal Coalition Trustee