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Board of Health Meeting Includes Presentation on Animal Shelter

Board to discuss center of recent controversy.

During their first meeting of 2013, Bloomfield's Board of Health is hearing a presentation on one of the most talked about topics of 2012: management of the John A. Bukowski Shelter for Animals.

The agenda for the meeting scheduled to be held tonight at the Mayor's Conference room at 6:30 p.m., includes two items concerning the animal shelter. The first is an Animal Shelter update and presentation and the second is listed as Animal Shelter Transfer. 

At the Bloomfield Township Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 19, responsibility for the Animal Shelter was given to Township Administrator Ted Ehrenburg. Previously the Bloomfield Township Committee had given Neighbor to Neighbor Network, a volunteer branch within the Department of Health and Human Services, control of day-to-day operations at the shelter.

NTNN has attracted its share of controversy. In March of 2012, the shelter suspended its volunteer program.  A post on the Facebook page Save the Bloomfield/Bukowski Shelter urges residents to "keep the pressure on" and says that "NTNN should not be awarded the contract for animal services. The post accuses NTNN of culling emails and phone numbers of adoptors in order to Market their services and get people to come to town council meetings.

In addition to the alleged intrusive practices, the NTNN has come under fire for its role in the controversy surrounding the stray pit bull named Memphis. NTNN members deemed Memphis unadoptable for now after evaluations by dog behavioral experts, to the dismay of dog trainers Jeff and Diana Coltenback, who wished to take the dog in.

After Memphis was brought to South Dakota, a move that prompted an ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit by the Coltenbacks. 

Karen Banda February 21, 2013 at 03:33 PM
Typical. Lore and her sycophants cause the controversy then "discuss" it. HELLO! Want to know who the source of the problems are and always have been? Just look in a mirror!
Pat Gilleran February 22, 2013 at 10:22 AM
What was amazing to me (and I guess it shouldn't have been) were the slides showing the budget for the shelter. Joel Elkins had just finished explaining that when the Bloomfield Board of Health Finance and Budget Committee (a subset of the Board of Health) discusses the budget they put nothing in writing and take no notes of their meetings.
Pat Gilleran February 23, 2013 at 10:32 AM
"Sharps containers were observed in the Lobby and in the Kitchen. Both containers were filled to capacity; it was unclear of how biohazardous waste was disposed of by the JBSA." "The HSUS team was unable to locate any Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for any of the chemicals used at the JBSA. Staff was not observed using any Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) when handling and mixing chemicals, or during the cleaning process. Human consumables were stored in the Kitchen refrigerator alongside animal medications, diagnostic tests and vaccines. A “wet floor” sign was seen in use in the Front Kennel during water use."
Pat Gilleran February 23, 2013 at 10:32 AM
"Staff and volunteers reported that they had not received any safety training. Federal or state employment or safety posters were not seen posted in the facility." "fire alarm system was evident in the building, but staff was unsure if it was operational. Fire extinguishers were not observed in the building and there were not any exit signs or evacuation maps posted. A lockbox in the Lobby on the wall near the door that lead to the animal housing areas was supposed to house keys for emergency responders, but it could not be confirmed if there were actually keys in it because no one had the key to it. A New Jersey Uniform Fire Code Certificate of Inspection was displayed in the Lobby, but had expired in 2007" "The Policy and Procedure Manual set the shelter capacity for cats at 28. At the time of the site visit, 68 cats and kittens were being housed at the facility." "The disease control and sanitation procedures that are in place at the JBSA are absolutely inadequate and may be contributing to animal illness" that's some of the report (I've glanced through 73 of the 147 pages).

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