Judge dissolves embattled Hudson SPCA
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2010:
JERSEY CITY–Ruling that the Hudson County SPCA “has
repeatedly conducted business in an unlawful manner, at a great
loss, with great prejudice to the interests of creditors, in a
manner prejudicial to the public,” Hudson County Superior Court
Judge Thomas Olivieri on April 22, 2010 ordered that the
121-year-old society be dissolved.
“The Hudson County SPCA has suspended ordinary activities for
lack of funds,” Olivieri found, while “The record clearly and
convincingly substantiates that at least $800,000 disappeared.”
Olivieri ruled in a case brought by the New Jersey attorney
general, Hudson Animal Advocates, and the Jersey City Division of
Health, against Hudson SPCA president Hector Carbajales, his wife
Zoey Carbalales, and unnamed board members.
“On April 7, 2010 the Jersey City Department of Health and
Senior Services revoked Hector Carbajales’ animal control officer
certification,” recalled Michelangelo Conte of the Jersey Journal.
Judge Olivieri ordered the Hudson County SPCA to close its
shelter in April 2008, after it repeatedly failed inspections. “Two
months later the carcasses of 15 dogs, cats and a goat were found
rotting inside an unplugged freezer in the fly-filled and reeking
facility,” Conte wrote.
The Hudson County SPCA was in frequent chaos long before
that. In July 2000 two board members were charged with criminal
mismanagement, and later pleaded guilty, for not having a
veterinarian on the premises and not quarantining a dog who bit a
volunteer. The volunteer beat the dog to death with a shovel and was
charged with cruelty.
Former Jersey City council member Thomas Hart took over
management of the Hudson County SPCA in August 2000. Hart turned it
into a no-kill shelter, and refused to accept animals from the
Jersey City Animal Control Office, pending receipt of $400,000 for
services rendered without payment since 1994. But Hart and six staff
members were fired at the end of October 2000.
PETA in November 2000 successfully lobbied for the no-kill
policy to be rescinded. Hart in 2002 became head of the Jersey City
Office of Animal Services.
The New Jersey State Commission of Investigation reported in
April 2001 that, “While shelter officials skimmed patron fees and
sold dog food for personal profit,” Hudson County SPCA animals
“languished in overcrowded, poorly ventilated enclosures without
adequate food, water, or veterinary care.” The report did not
bring substantive changes.