“No Vendetta” Against JAC, Says South Orange

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More than three months after being shuttered by the township of South Orange Village for a variety of health code violations, The Jersey Animal Coalition (JAC) has yet to take steps to remediate the issues, said village officials.

The quarantine that led to the JAC’s shutdown after an inspection on March 12 was discussed at Monday night’s South Orange Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting. Several of the shelter’s supporters and volunteers accused the township of holding a “vendetta” against the facility, a charge township officials strongly denied.

Deputy Village Adminsitrator Adam Loehner said there was no personal vendetta against the shelter, and that as soon as the JAC shows the township the violations have been remedied, the quarantine will be lifted.

Recently, the township sent a notice of default to the shelter, to which the JAC has ten days to respond . “The JAC management and their lawyer [have] not given us any indication the work has been done on the facility [or that] the animals are in good health,” said Loehner. “Unfortunately, the process has stopped,” he continued. “We have notified the facility of the different violations, we have gotten nothing.”

Village Administrator Barry Lewis confirmed there is a municipal court hearing about the matter scheduled for Tuesday. Lewis said the village put the shelter on notice as to exactly what needs to be done to get the quarantine lifted. “The ball…has been in their court since the day of the quarantine,” said Lewis.

The Coalition’s President, Ruth Perlmutter, has denied all of the charges filed against the shelter.

Village President Alex Torpey said at the meeting the township is trying to fix the problem and find a safe place for the dogs and cats the shelter has housed. “It’s all for the protection of the animals,” Torpey said.

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