Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Update: Park Conservancy to Form Committee Regarding Former Animal Shelter

The Farrell Field Park Conservancy (FFPC) will form a committee regarding the former Jersey Animal Coalition (JAC) shelter building in South Orange. The building is located just 200 feet from the park playground near the driveway to the South Orange Department of Public Works.

A post on the FFPC website reads that "FFPC is asking for a seat at the table as various options are considered and a choice made as to how to best utilize this building", and that "since the use of the building directly impacts the park, surrounding woods and river wetlands corridor, we at FFPC are ready to look at all plans".

According to FFPC president Richard Bell, "anyone who is an official member of the conservancy is eligible to be a member of the committee".

The shelter opened in July of 2005 to serve South Orange and Maplewood, and remained open until March 12 of this year. On that day, the shelter was closed following a joint health inspection by the South Orange Village and New Jersey State Departments of Health for alleged health code violations. After JAC sued the village and several of its agencies and employees on July 7, a New Jersey Superior Court judge ordered that the shelter be allowed to reopen. In the beginning of October, as part of an agreement with South Orange Village, JAC announced that the organization would leave the shelter on November 11. 

Deputy Village Administrator Adam Loehner told Essex County Place that "the Village has taken over the former JAC building and (is) currently assessing the work that will need to be done to protect the building from the cold weather".

A sign was recently posted outside of the building reading that the shelter has closed, and that no animals or donations should be dropped off.

The president of JAC did not return requests for comment.

Note: The article was originally published on December 1, and was updated on December 3 to include information from the FFPC president.

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