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Trial Continues for Monmouth County Health and Animal Control Officers

IMG_3308_optPAT SUMMERS 
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

At Tuesday afternoon’s trial continuation for three Monmouth County animal control officers (ACOs) and one health officer accused of illegal cat killing, Dr. Lawrence Weiner, owner of Town and Country Veterinarian Services, Manalapan, was questioned by Prosecutor James Nelson Butler for the entire period.

The trial, in Manalapan Municipal Court, resumed shortly after 1 pm and ended close to 4 pm. Three dates in July and August were reserved for it to continue, as/if needed.

As before, the defendants – Julie Kramer, Freehold health officer; and ACOs Cherlann Ambrose, John Domic and Sharon Gaboff – sat with their lawyers facing Judge George Cieri. Plaintiff Stuart Goldman sat nearby with Prosecutor Butler.  

Drawing on complaints Goldman had filed against the ACOs and health officer, the prosecutor questioned Weiner closely about Share on Facebook! 2012 records on cats brought to his practice, often by an ACO, and what happened to each – in most cases, death by euthanization. Many of those cats were then decapitated in preparation for state testing for rabies.  

Since Weiner had not finished testifying by the 4 pm recess, he will continue on July 23, the next date scheduled. In the course of

his testimony on Tuesday, Weiner frequently referred to:

 

  • Cats he or his colleagues had deemed “debilitated,” or unable to survive seven days in the (Helmetta) shelter because of existing health problems (either perceived or reported)
  • Cats who had reportedly had “human exposure” (bit or scratched a person) and therefore should be tested for rabies.

(For those who don’t know, the only way to test for rabies is through a biological test of brain tissue. The rabies test therefore requires the animal in question to be euthanized then decapitated so a sample of brain tissue can be sent to Trenton for testing.)

In the course of testifying, Weiner also said: 

 

  • “If an ACO tells me an animal’s brought in for ‘rabies de-cap,’ it’s not my prerogative to find out who he bit or scratched.” If a cat’s brought to him by another government agency, it’s up to that agency to check.
  • Asked if he would hold a cat for 10 days (rabies observation period), he said the person bitten would make that decision. A later record involved one of the ACOs being scratched by a cat she brought in; she decided against the 10-day hold.     
  • “I am not mandated to treat animals brought to me (by an ACO in the case of a cat  reportedly “seizuring”) in ill health at my expense. . . . I’m not there to save all these animals. The poor animal’s sick and there’s no one to take care of him. . .  and we pick our battles.”  
  • If a person relinquishes a cat, Weiner’s hospital considers whether it can be “recycled” (that is, re-adopted). If not, euthanization may follow.  
  • He described many of the cats and kittens euthanized by Town and Country as “too sick to send (to the Helmetta shelter), too wild to treat.”

The dates set aside for continuation of the trial are Tuesday, July 23, 1-4 pm; Monday, July 29, 10 am-4:30 pm; and Monday, Aug. 12, 1-4:30 pm. 

 

Freelance writer Pat Summers also blogs at nj.com/pets.

 

 
Comments (7)
7 Saturday, 13 July 2013 10:30
Re: Mr. Joe Hanson
I have been on exposed to all sides of the animal care, welfare, abuse, neglect, seen needless killings, etc. Mr. Joe Hanson, I read your response and I think if you followed the trial, and listened to the case at hand you would understand the gist of the charges... A police officer as well as an Animal Control Officer, Animal Welfare, any Public Servant needs to abide by the LAWS that already exist. Including those civilians. Laws were put forth to keep society running smoothly and to ake sure EVERYONE covered under those laws are protected. Whether it be adults, children or animals. That is why you have Humane Law Enforcement for animals. I am not here to stand on a soap box and lecture,.. however, the facts of the matter is that protocol was not followed causing the needless killings of many animals,.. The judge will decide after hearing all the facts from all parties as to whether the laws were in fact violated,..
You may not be an animal lover and dont have to be one. However, allow me to bring up one scenerio to you,.. say you own a pet,.. dog , or cat,.. whatever,..your pet SOMEHOW wonders onto someone else property, who happens not to like them there, and calls the Animal Control Officer to retrieve the animal from thier property... Now If you LOVE this animal, I am sure onnce you realized it has gone missing,. you would be searching for it,.. However if your animal, while being trapped by the ACO, bit, scratched or whatever because it was merely scared,.. when being trapped or rabie poled,..in order to remove it from said persons who called to have the animal removed from their property.. WELL NOW its in the ACO's hands. Protocol would be to bring the animal to a nearby facility where it can be observed for a minimum of 7 days, which also give YOU as the rightful owner the time and RIGHT to find your animal and be able to retrieve him or her and bring him or her back home. HOWEVER, in this scenerio, the animals are judged at that moment,.. being scared etc,.. and they are being taken to the vets office to be killed,. END OF STORY!- That is not how the laws are written, and guess what,.. NOW ITS LATE AND YOUR SO CALLED BELOVED ANIMAL IS DEAD, (PERHAPS CRUELY TRAPPED AND RABIES POLED- YOU DONT KNOW- BUT IVE SEEN THEM IN ACTION-AND YES,.. I SURE AS HELL THINK IT IS A CRUEL WAY TO CAPTURE A FRIGHTENED ANIMAL)- BTW- I have dealt with animals, animal cases, behavioral problems in animals, animal laws etc,.. So I do know what I am talking about THROUGH experience. So with that being said,.. it is unjust that an animal not have the time the LAW provides for it to be evalutated and or returned or adopted. And to comment and say that if a person feels as deeply for their pet that was unjustly killed, as another person would feel for their child or relative, and they are deemed a fanatic, and people dont act that way or accept it,.. well you are being just as unfair to them as well. To say someone should seek medical attention because their pet was the only FAMILY they had and that animal was killed without being given its legal chance to be reclaimed or readopted etc, is well a reflection on your own disposition.. not theirs.
No one wants to do the job these people do,.. but they chose to do it! - They chose to be in that position and they chose to represent and uphold the law.. In this case it seems as though the law was not upheld,.. and yes,.. Cruel, being cats especially when trapped are often poled and it isn't a gentle kind way of doing it. And Cruel to the owner, who now has lost what may have been the only love in their lives. If you can not do your job correctly, then you should not be in that position. If you speed down the highway 10 miles over the speed limit, and dont get pulled over for violating the law, then you got away with it,..but when you get caught, that is when you have a fine to pay. Unfortunately, these animals paid with their lives. Its about the facts, not how you or I feel or whether or not you like or dislike your job, or I mine,.. its about the injustice. Period. No need to reply, as I wont acknowledge or read it,.. I know where I stand and I have enough experience all around, over 30+ years to back me up, and I will not argue the FACTS with someone who belittles people for stating their opinions as you have stated yours. Good Day!
6 Friday, 05 July 2013 22:49
Dr Killapet
Also this generous Dr Weiner owner of town and country vet stated under oath he gave a discount to a car dealership to euthanize healthy cats they owned and did not want.
Dr Weiner does this euthanasia discount pertain to anyone in the community?
Would you want to purchase a car from people who just decide they no longer want a animal so they just have it killed.
5 Friday, 05 July 2013 22:40
Phil Adams
I don't know if there is a person alive who can look at a animal and determine that the animal is wild. Any animal domestic or wild will act as if it is wild when it is trapped and scared.
4 Sunday, 30 June 2013 15:07
Lou D.
Joe H.- How is euthanizing a healthy animal not abuse? If someone busted into your home, took you hostage, and stuck a needle full of poison into you, would that be abuse? The only thing these cats were guilty of is being homeless. So when should we start being "humane" to homeless people and killing them off? The outdoors is their home. These cats could be trapped, neutered/spayed and released. Some a-hole snached them up with the sole intent of killing them, and thats ok with you? These scum are in no way "helping the animals" as you put it.
Are you a medical professional? I take it you are since you feel that you can recommend that Joe G. see a specialist. I think it's the other way around, and you need to seek out help. As a non professional, I think you have a disorder that makes you feel as if you are above everyone, especially all of the lords creatures. If someone does not share this belief with you, they are a "fanatic". You also feel the need to insult a person you don't know saftely from behind your computer, because they have a different opinion from you. You sound like a coward and a bully.
3 Sunday, 30 June 2013 11:16
Joe Hanson
1st - Joe I never once saw in this article tha the animals were being abused! I saw euthanized ( which means they were injected then fell asleep and died). That is not abuse!
2nd - Shelly - He did not say they were all sick he said sicl or wild. Last I checked wild cats in cages bouncing off the walls dose not seem very "humane" to me.
3rd - I did not read in here in any way were they being cruel. Taking the animals to the vet is acually very rare. Most agencies make their own decision on whether to humanely euthanize animals. If you care so much go catch all the animals and take care of them yourselves. Wait then you would become a horder which is more cruel. Better yet find hundreds of wild sick animals homes. Wait no one can do that, you don't have time. No one likes making those kinds of decisons but someone has to, it is easy to sit back and call yourself an animal lover and maybe even be a part of a rescue that helps some, but no one can handle all the stray animals. Attacking those who work with and help the animals and the public (who can't take care of their own problems) is not the solution. If no one did what these people do then who would take care of the animals? You, maybe you should change carreers and do their job. Oh wait, I bet you say "I could never do that job I love animals too much!" Then you have no clue, because people who love animals have to make those decision every day. That would be like saying police hate people because they have to arrest some maybe they even have to take a life for public safety. If you let these cats run all over rabies would increase which puts peoples lives at risk, what is more important the lives of cats or of people. If you say animals are equal to or more important than a persons, we have nothing more to talk about because that would make you a fanatic and most people are not. I would recommend that you see a specialist to help you.
2 Friday, 28 June 2013 19:47
joe graffagnino
Someone needs to speak for these animals. These poor cats, dogs and other animals are being abused and many are put to death needlessly. Thank God for people like Stuart Goldman to act as their advocate and their voice against destruction.
1 Thursday, 27 June 2013 20:34
shelley keene
He should be fined and thrown out of the job that is dicusting to do to an amimal they are not all sick they are liars I hate people who abuse animals and they should answer for it doctor or not i hope they throw the book ay all of them jerks and i hope they rot in jail where they belong god will punish them all

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