New Jersey dismantles Office of Animal Welfare
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2006:
TRENTON–New Jersey Office of Animal Welfare director Cheryl
Maccaroni was on February 16 returned to her former job as deputy
All three inspectors were transferred to the Infectious &
Zoonotic Disease Program under state vet Faye Sorhage.
“That is where shelter inspections were handled until June
2004, when then-Health Commissioner Clifton Lacey authorized
$200,000 to develop the Office of Animal Welfare,” wrote Brian T.
Murray of the Newark Star-Ledger. The Office of Animal Welfare and
the Infectious & Zoonotic Disease Program are both under the state
Department of Health and Senior Services.
New Jersey Animal Welfare Task Force member Gordon Stull,
DVM, recalled that before the Office of Animal Welfare was formed,
“There were serious problems with inspections of shelters, pet
shops, and kennels. In just the past year,” Stull said, “the
office conducted over 400 inspections.”
But Associated Humane Societies president Roseann Trezza
“complained of raid-like inspections, threats of being shut down,
and pressure to end euthanizing unwanted animals,” wrote Murray.
“Local health departments also complained that the new office
interfered with the training of animal control officers and lobbied
towns to create feral cat colonies, rather than collect cats.”
Trezza told ANIMAL PEOPLE that the euthanasia issue involved
animals with poor adoption prospects. The New Jersey rate of 5.9
dogs and cats killed per 1,000 residents is well under the national
rate of 15.5.
The feral cat issue, said Trezza, centered on colony
caretakers who either did not sterilize all of the cats in their
care, or died, leaving some colonies without caretakers.