Jersey Animal Coalition (JAC) officials are now due in South Orange Municipal Court next Tuesday, April 22, at 3:00pm on over 50 charges. JAC operates an animal shelter at 298 Walton Avenue in South Orange. The charges were issued to JAC on March 12 and March 25 following an inspection conducted by both village and state health officials.
Ruth Perlmutter, the president and founder of the Jersey Animal Coalition is also due in court on two separate charges dating back to February. A statement from Perlmutter was posted on the Jersey Animal Coalition website today. In the statement, Perlmutter says "For those of you reading this who know me, you know that I have dedicated nearly a lifetime to the care and protection of animals. That lifetime passion, and my genuine belief that we are all God’s creatures, eventually led me to the world of animal rescue, which then led me to my work to help establish a no-kill animal shelter in South Orange through the Jersey Animal Coalition. After a lifetime of dedication to animal welfare, I handed my role to a new President. However, it came to the Board’s attention earlier this year that the person who took my place did not share the same passion and the same views for the protection of our animals. Therefore, our board had no choice but to remove that individual from office. I am proud to say that the board showed its faith in me by re-electing me as president. All this said, many of you, no doubt, have heard or read that in my absence, the shelter has come under severe scrutiny. At the moment, our shelter is under quarantine. In addition, the South Orange Department of Health has filed numerous charges against us for various health violations. Please know this….as the Jersey Animal Coalition President, neither I nor the board have no intention of dealing with these important issues through the press or by responding to false and slanderous internet postings and rumors. The Jersey Animal Coalition, through counsel, has denied all the charges against it, and will wage that battle in the appropriate forum – in court. As to the one thing which truly matters – our animals – know that the board and I are personally dedicated, as ever, to their health and well-being. And know that we are spending every waking hour fighting to get our doors re-opened – so that the Jersey Animal Coalition can continue to serve the community and provide salvation for these beautiful animals who all deserve a chance at life".
Perlmutter had originally agreed to speak to Essex County Place regarding the shutdown of the shelter, but did not return our questions.
South Orange Municipal Court is housed in the Maplewood Police and Municipal Court building at 1618 Springfield Avenue in Maplewood.