Hostile Work Environment Claim Made Against Council Members Over Animal Shelter Attacks; Community Leaders Defend Shelter Against Despicable Township Council Attacks
Mayor Kelly Yaede is outraged and appalled by the political stunt that Council Members Martin, Carabelli and Tighe have waged regarding the Hamilton Township Animal Shelter. And leading up to next week’s public meeting (which will be held onTuesday, July 17, 2018, at 6:30 PM at Nottingham Firehouse (Ballroom), community leaders are beginning to come forward to defend the reputation of the shelter employees that the Council Members have publicly called ‘killers of innocent animals.’
Due to the public attack waged against the Animal Shelter by Council Members Martin, Carabelli and Tighe, one Hamilton Township Shelter Employee has filed a Notice of Claim against the three elected officials for what the employee believes has created a ‘Hostile work environment.’
“Council Members Martin, Carabelli and Tighe are using helpless shelter pets as their ‘political pawns’ and are personally attacking our compassionate animal shelter staff by calling them ‘killers of innocent animals.’ Their politically-motivated accusations are absolutely reprehensible. For sitting Council Members to make such vile and despicable claims about our public employees – characterizing them as heartless and callous ‘killers’ – is beyond the pale,” says Mayor Kelly Yaede. “We are now beginning to see respected community leaders coming forward to defend the reputation of our shelter staff. I am once again calling for Council Members Martin, Carabelli and Tighue to publicly apologize for calling our dedicated, animal-loving employees ‘killers.’ If they refuse to apologize, it should illustrate to every Hamiltonian how low they will stoop for political purposes.”
Not Every Council Member Agrees with Unjustified Attack
Not every member of Council agrees with the attack against the Animal Shelter employees. Councilman Ralph Mastrangelo disagrees with what his colleagues are doing:
“As a former public employee (Police Officer), I whole-heartedly opposed these unjustified attacks against our shelter employees, who should not be made political targets. What message does this send to our other public employees when sitting Council Members seek to vilify fellow employees as ‘animal killers’?,” asks Councilman Mastrangelo. “I also think my colleagues attacks are hypocritically, when just weeks ago, these same Council Members held budget hearings and approved the very Animal Shelter budget that they are now criticizing.”
What Some Prominent Community Leaders Have to Say
William J. Carter, D.V.M., M.P.H.
Mercerville Animal Hospital
For decades, the well-respected Carter family and Mercerville Animal Hospital has worked with the Hamilton Township Animal Shelter. Next week, Dr. Carter plans to speak at the Township Council Meeting. But his sentiments underscore the true reputation of Hamilton’s Animal Shelter employees:
“…it can be emphatically stated that the Hamilton Twp. Animal Shelter and staff plus veterinarians have devoted their time to always promote the fair treatment of dog, cats and all of God’s other animals encountered in the past and to my knowledge that would include rabbits, raccoons, possums, groundhogs, deer, etc.,” says Dr. William J. Carter.
“The [Hamilton Township] shelter also promotes humane treatment for terminally ill rescues and abandoned pets to lessen the suffering. At times euthanasia is the last resort given and at times it’s heartbreaking to put an animal down knowing that it was the right decision for all involved.”
“There are also some [animals] that are not adoptable due to being declared vicious as a detriment to health and welfare of people and other animals. Many of these are declared vicious by the courts under state statutes and laws and euthanasia is the decision rendered by the courts.”
Animal Friends for Education and Welfare (A.F.E.W.)
President Marylin Hondorp
A.F.E.W. was established in 1993; and has actively worked with the Hamilton Animal Shelter for almost 18 years. Hondorp also plans to attend next week’s meeting. President Marlyn Hondorp describes how closely they have worked with Hamilton’s dedicated shelter employees for the betterment of animals.
“AFEW volunteers are at the shelter every day, walking the dogs and exercising them increasing their chances of being adopted,” explains Hondorp.
“The shelter staff is comfortable with reaching out to AFEW if they feel one of the shelter animals is not adjusting to shelter life and needs a foster home, or if a shelter animal has a special medical condition that goes beyond their capability to care for. They [Animal Shelter staff] reached out to us for help with Parvo dogs that cannot go into the shelter system without contaminating others.”
Corporal Matt Payne
New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJSPCA)
In 2017, Corporal Matt Payne the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJSPCA) performed a welfare check at the Hamilton Animal Shelter, which was publicized at the time. Payne’s report highlighted the quality conditions of Hamilton’s Shelter, which is maintained by its Animal Shelter employees:
“The facility was very clean, there was no waste in any of the kennels, the animals appeared to be in good health, had water/food, and were well cared for,” reported Payne.
“The shelter has multiple intake rooms, a sick quarantine room, and a vet that sees the animals. As mentioned there were no animals that appeared sick, the shelter was not overcrowded and was very clean.”