Asbury Park Deputy Mayor disputes Associated Human Societies’ allegations
The Associated Human Societies (AHS) has suspended the volunteer program at its Tinton Falls facility, according to a post on the organization’s facebook page for its Popcorn Park (Lacey Township) facility. (h/t app.com)
The announcement alleges that volunteers at the facility chronically violated protocols for handing animals which resulted in deaths, human and animal injuries and expensive veterinary bills. Additionally, the announcement alleges that volunteers “solicited funds to be collected as donations for Associated Humane Societies, yet they were never turned in.”
“The animals at our Tinton Falls facility will continue to receive the excellent care and attention that they always have from our dedicated staff while we work hard to formulate a plan for a new volunteer program going forward. Be assured that our dogs will continue to be walked. Volunteers were never responsible for feeding or medicating animals, cleaning or maintaining our facility, and were not involved with the general day to day operations of running the shelter, so none of that will be affected.”
The announcement said that the problems that have occurred at the Tinton Falls facility have not occurred at the organizations animal shelters in Newark or Forked River.
“Had protocol been adhered to as it is at our other two locations, 99% of these incidents could have been prevented. Our methods and guidelines work, which is why we have continued to have positive volunteer programs available at our other two facilities that run without the kinds of issues we have tried so diligently to prevent in Tinton Falls.”
Asbury Park Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn, a volunteer at the facility, called the allegations “outrageous” on her facebook page. Her concern is that of an adopter of dogs from the shelter, a volunteer and as a public official of a city that pays the Associated Human Society over $50,000 per year to care for stray animals. Quinn, in a phone interview, said that approximately 33 Monmouth County communities have contracts with the non-profit agency.
Quinn said the the Tinton Falls shelter has a “systematic apathy towards for visitors and animals at the facility” that she was willing to overlook during her four years as a volunteer because she felt the strays were in good care because of the volunteers who, she said, walk dogs, socialize them, bring them treats, and takes them to outreaches, which the paid staff does not.
Quinn said that she believes that AHS shut down the volunteer program with “nothing lined up to take care of the strays of Asbury Park and approximately 33 other towns.”
“As it stands now, I believe dogs will be in cages 24/7 until they are adopted or euthanized. Half the kennels have no outside area, so those dogs will never smell fresh air or see the sun. None of the dogs will be socialized. No playgroups, no exercise, nothing to relieve the pressure of a stressful environment.”
Quinn said that the AHS Executive Director did not respond to her messages, but that the assistant executive director told her that additional staff would be hired to take over the duties previously carried out by volunteers. “I wish he had thought to do that prior to killing the volunteer program, ” Quinn wrote on facebook.
Quinn told MMM that she does not plan to take official action against AHS or cancel their contract with Asbury Park. “No, we intend to work with them to correct the problems,” she said.