RED BANK: PUPPY MILL LAW WITHDRAWN

The owner of Bark Avenue Puppies on West Front Street had threatened to sue the borough if it enacted the proposed ban on dogs supplied by breeders. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After seven months of controversy, Red Bank’s proposed ban on the sale of “puppy mill” pets was withdrawn over a failure to win council backing Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: WHAT NEXT FOR ONE-EYED ROBIN?

For the past week, Lisa Keele of Red Bank and her family have cared for a fledgling robin they found lying in the road outside their Branch Avenue home. Named ‘Sam,’ the bird cannot fly and was born without a right eye.

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RED BANK: ‘PUPPY MILL’ BILL TABLED

Bark Avenue owner Gary Hager listens as Vyolet Jean Savage speaks in favor of a puppy mill ordinance in January. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council averted, for now, a showdown over a controversial proposed ordinance that would ban the retail sale of puppies and kittens unless they come from animal shelters and rescue organizations.

At its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the council postponed a vote on the measure until June 27 to allow for a possible “compromise,” Councilwoman Kathy Horgan told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: PUPPY LAW MAY END UP IN COURT

Toy poodle pups at Bark Avenue Puppies in February, 2016. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s only puppy retailer threatened to sue the borough Wednesday night if the council passes an anti-puppy-mill law that he said will put him out of business.

“I must ask how much of our taxpayer money are you willing to spend on this unconstitutional ordinance?” Bark Avenue Puppies owner Gary Hager asked the council at its semimonthly meeting. “I’m willing to spend a lot, because I have right on my side.”

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RED BANK: ‘PUPPY MILL’ LAW ON AGENDA

A proposed ordinance that Red Bank’s only puppy store claims will kill its business is up for adoption by the borough council Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: On Tuesday, borough Clerk Pam Borghi announced that the council plans to table the proposed ordinance “pending further discussions with all stakeholders.” It’s expected to be reintroduced eat a future date, she said.]

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RED BANK: ‘PUPPY MILL’ BILL DEBATED

Bark Avenue owner Gary Hager cuddles Winston, a puppy brought to the council meeting by one of Hager’s customers. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03An effort to limit the sale of dogs sourced from so-called puppy mills sparked extended debate at the Red Bank council’s first regular meeting of 2018 Wednesday night.

For nearly 90 minutes, supporters of the town’s only puppy retailer, Bark Avenue Puppies, argued that the proposed ordinance would kill the shop and reduce consumer choice while having no impact on the underside of the industry.

Proponents of the bill, however, said such concerns were overstated.

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SEA BRIGHT: CAT RESUSCITATED AFTER FIRE

donegoodlogoSea Bright volunteer firefighters revived an unconscious cat at the site of an apartment fire early Tuesday morning, the fire department reported on its Facebook page.

According to the post, stations 43 and 33 were dispatched to a townhouse in the Sea Bright Village for a reported structure fire. There, they encountered a blaze in the second story of a middle unit.

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RED BANK: PET SHOP CITED FOR NOTICE ISSUES

just_inA Red Bank pet shop was among more than two dozen retailers statewide cited for violating a law aimed at giving consumers more information about animals for sale, the New Jersey Attorney General’s office said Monday.

Bark Avenue Puppies, on East Front Street, was cited for 50 alleged violations of amendments to the Pet Purchase Protection Act that went into effect last year, according to the state.

Gary Hager, who acquired the shop last summer, told redbankgreen that he had been unaware of the law, and “immediately rectified” the problems upon being notified by the Department of Community Affairs in August.

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LITTLE SILVER: DEAD-BIRD HIDER SENTENCED

gretchen rell selfieGretchen Rell with a bird she called “Monty” in a selfie posted on her Facebook page in January. (Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_03A volunteer animal rescuer who stockpiled hundreds of dead birds and other animals in her mother’s Little Silver home was sentenced to five years probation, the Monmouth County Prosecutor announced Friday.

Gretchen Rell, 56, an Ocean Township resident,  had previously admitted to neglecting the birds and being responsible for their deaths.

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LITTLE SILVER: BIRD HOARDER PLEADS GUILTY

gretchen rellGretchen Rell in a 2011 photo on her Facebook page. She described the bird she’s holding as a survivor of a pigeon shoot. (Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_03A volunteer animal rescuer who kept hundreds of dead birds and other animals in her mother’s Little Silver home pleaded guilty to animal cruelty Monday, according to NJ.com.

At a hearing in Superior Court in Freehold, Gretchen Rell, 56, an Ocean Township resident, admitted she neglected the birds and was responsible for their deaths.

As part of an agreement with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, a second charge of cruelty contained in an indictment handed down by a grand jury in May was dismissed, the news site reports.

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RED BANK: MEET, GREET, LIE DOWN, PANT

Tails wagged and pink tongues slobbered as Dog Days of Summer, an effort by Red Bank RiverCenter to boost evening sales downtown, returned to a stretch of Monmouth Street in Red Bank for a second season Tuesday night, attracting dozens of canines on a hot night. The event recurs monthly, and this year ends with a dog Halloween event in October. (Photos by Susan Ericson and John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER: DEAD BIRD HOARDER INDICTED

gretchen rell selfieGretchen Rell with a bird she called “Monty” in a selfie posted on her Facebook page in January. (Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_03A volunteer animal rescuer who kept hundreds of dead birds and other animals in her mother’s Little Silver home was indicted on animal cruelty charges Monday, authorities said.

Gretchen Rell, 56, an Ocean Township, was charged with two counts of third-degree animal cruelty in an indictment handed down by a grand jury in Freehold, according to an an announcement by Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

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LITTLE SILVER WOMAN ‘HOARDED DEAD BIRDS’

gretchen rellGretchen Rell in a 2011 photo on her Facebook page. She described the bird she’s holding as a survivor of a pigeon shoot. (Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_03A volunteer animal rescuer is expected to face animal cruelty charges after authorities found numerous dead birds in a Little Silver home she shared with her parents, NJ.com reports.

Gretchen Rell, 54, a Mitchell Place resident who also has a home in Ocean Township, will be charged with failure to provide proper care to animals, Monmouth County SPCA Chief Law Enforcement Officer Victor “Buddy” Amato told NJ.com.

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SHREWSBURY: VEAL PLANT ‘GOOD NEIGHBOR’

catelli 012814The Catelli Brothers slaughterhouse on Broad Street.

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01The shutdown of the Catelli Brothers veal slaughterhouse over allegations of animal abuse “shocked” Shrewsbury officials, Mayor Donald Burden said Tuesday.

The suspension of operations ordered Friday by the United States Department of Agriculture followed a complaint and undercover video purporting to show “egregious inhumane handling of calves in violation of federal law,” according to the Humane Society of the US, which prompted the action.

“It’s operated there for years, and we’ve never had any complaints from neighbors or to the police department,” Burden told redbankgreen.

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COMPANY ‘COOPERATING’ IN PROBE OF ANIMAL ABUSE AT SHREWSBURY SLAUGHTERHOUSE

Warning: graphic video, which the Humane Society cites as evidence of cruelty at the Broad Street abattoir.

By JOHN T. WARD

The Catelli Brothers veal slaughterhouse in Shrewsbury has been shut down by federal regulators pending an investigation into allegations of animal abuse, the Humane Society of the United States said Monday.

The shutdown, effective Friday, followed a complaint, accompanied by undercover video, submitted by the society to the United States Department of Agriculture alleging “egregious inhumane handling of calves in violation of federal law,” the society said in a press release.

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SHREWSBURY: DOG LEFT IN CAR BRINGS COPS

Shrewsbury police questioned an unidentified man outside Trader Joe’s after two witnesses complained that he had left a dog inside his car for a significant length of time as temperature neared 90 degrees early Monday afternoon. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

TINTON FALLS MAN CHARGED WITH DOG ABUSE


A Tinton Falls man is facing eight charges of animal cruelty for allegedly wrapping the muzzles of two dogs with duct tape and punching a puppy in the head, law enforcement authorities said Friday morning.

Joseph A. Valentino, 41, of Cherry Street, is alleged to have abused three dogs from September, 2012 through February 2, 2013…

“…when he wrapped the muzzle of Stitches, a one-year-old Bullmastiff, with duct tape and trimmed the nails on the dog’s paws using a power tool despite the animal being fearful of the nail trimming; choking Stitches to the point of the dog’s tongue turning blue and abusing the animal to the point it defecated on itself,”

according to a press release issued by Victor “Buddy” Amato, Chief Humane Law Enforcement Officer at the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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MORE TEETH SOUGHT IN CRUELTY LAWS

By WIL FULTON

Animal cruelty stands as one of the sad realities of life. Every day, our televisions, news sites, and social media feeds carry images and stories of animal neglect, abuse and abandonment. Last week, redbankgreen reported on puppies suspected of having been dumped in Shrewsbury, no owner in sight.

Red Bank’s mayor and council think offenders of cruelty prevention laws need to hear a stronger message of condemnation. Last week, they endorsed a resolution that asks state legislators to rachet up the penalties for those convicted of animal cruelty.

“Unfortunately we live in a society that is showing a great deal of insensitivity for those who don’t have a voice for themselves,” said Mayor Pasquale Menna. “We have regulations and laws in place, but I think that, frankly, the time has come for our legislators in Trenton to look at those bills that deal with cases and incidents of animal cruelty, and ask that they be upgraded.”

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SHREWSBURY: FIFTH DOG RESCUED

A Wheaten Terrier-mix puppy at the Associated Humane Societies facility in Tinton Falls Friday morning, shortly after his rescue in Shrewsbury. (Click to enlarge)

The last of five possibly abandoned young dogs that were on the loose in an industrial area of Shrewsbury was captured Friday morning, Animal Control Officer Henry Perez tells redbankgreen.

The Wheaten Terrier-mix pup, wet and mangy but tail a-wagging, was caught in a humane trap he set Tuesday, after four other dogs were rounded up near the Satellite Self Storage facility on Tuesday.

The first four, originally believed to be all puppies, are now known to be three pups – one a type of Pomeranian –and an adult female, said Perez. It’s unclear if the adult, a Wheaten mix like three of the pups, is the mother.

It’s also unknown, and likely to stay unknown, if the animals,  were born in the wild or dumped there, Perez said. They appear to have been using an exposed drainage pipe for temporary shelter, he said.

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SHREWSBURY: PUPPY DUMPING SUSPECTED

Three of the four puppies captured Tuesday morning took temporary shelter in a drainage pipe. A fifth escaped. (Click to enlarge)

Shrewsbury authorities are searching for the owners of five young dogs that appear to have been abandoned in town, redbankgreen has learned.

Four of the five were captured Tuesday morning and transported to the Humane Society facility in Tinton Falls for examination, said borough Animal Control Officer Henry Perez. The fifth got away, he said.

“They’re all really dirty, with mangled fur,” Perez said.

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SNIFFING OUT A SUSPECT IN CRUELTY CASE

Boss, a pit bull who was abandoned in Red Bank in April, was last believed to be available for adoption at the Humane Society. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Perez_van3Henry Perez is not one to boast. Media shy, he’s cautious to a fault about getting clearance from his superiors before talking to a reporter, and wouldn’t let redbankgreen take a fresh photo of him to replace the one at right, from 2008.

But he’s no wallflower either, and the Red Bank animal control officer, who also carries a badge as a volunteer enforcer for the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, contacted us recently because he wants to get the word out:

If you’re thinking of abandoning a dog or other pet, think twice about using Red Bank as your dumping ground. Because if you do, he may hunt you down.

Don’t believe it? Read on.

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