Bloomfield BOH Makes Decision on Memphis – Coltenback to Go to Court

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The Bloomfield Board of Health announced at last night’s meeting that they had made a decision about the placement of the dog, Memphis, after a closed-session discussion with their attorney; but did not disclose the results due to the pending lawsuit that has been filed against the town and the Health Department by Jeff Coltenback and The Lexus Project. At shortly before 5 p.m. on Friday, Coltenback announced on his Facebook page, without elaboration, that they would be going to court on October 5, 2012.

Memphis had been in the Coltenbacks’ care for 8 days for training before the Health Department forced them to return the dog after claiming Coltenback had violated the terms of his contract by exposing Memphis to children.

Coltenback denies he violated the contract, and said that the children who patted Memphis were never in any danger, as he had control of the dog at all times and Memphis was showing no signs of concerning behavior. The Coltenbacks own the Paradise Pet store in Bloomfield and are both professional trainers.

At last evening’s meeting, after all of the attendees, who numbered about 150, had filed in to the courtroom on the second floor of the Bloomfield Law Enforcement Building and been seated, Board President McLaughlin announced they would go into closed session to discuss the lawsuit with their attorney, Ronald J. Ricci, prior to the public comment period.

The attendees milled around in the hallway as the closed-session meeting took place, from 6:30 to 7:21 p.m., when they were allowed back in.

Members of the public spoke at length during last night’s comment period despite not knowing the outcome of the Board’s decision. The public comment period was divided into two segments in order to allow the Board to get through their agenda.

Memphis’ fate was not the only subject they addressed. Many members of the public questioned the credentials of Acting Director Karen Lore and other members of the Health Department staff.

  • Mary DeLorenzo of Belleville pointed out that the Bloomfield Animal Shelter had had 3 managers within a year, and the current manager’s website indicates that she has, “at tops,” 2 years of hands-on experience based on her statement that she had been in a corporate job up until 2 years ago.
  • Kristin Kucsma, an economist and animal advocate who had also spoken at Monday’s council meeting, said that her research had shown that Acting Director of Health & Human Services, Karen Lore, did not have the necessary credentials to be in charge of the shelter, as she had no experience as an animal behaviorist, or with running either a shelter, a business or a non-profit organization. She also stated, regarding decisions that had been made and the handling of the Memphis situation, that “One of the things that has been incredibly obvious… is a lack of leadership.”

Others questioned recent policies at the shelter, including:

  • The reduced hours that the shelter is now open to the public, which changed from 1-4 p.m. 365 days of the year, to only 2 hours a day (12 to 2 p.m.) Monday through Saturday, with the shelter closed on Sundays and holidays.
  • A new requirement for visitors to the shelter to not only show their driver’s licenses but to also allow the shelter to photocopy them.

There were also allegations of abuse suffered by Memphis at the hands of shelter employees.

  • It was reported that a volunteer had complained earlier in 2012 that an employee had allegedly lifted Memphis up by his collar and thrown him into his cage on more than one occasion.
  • Pat Gilleran presented 77 pages of information pertaining to alleged abuse to the Board.

Gilleran also questioned why the Trap, Neuter and Release (TNR) program for feral cats is “on hiatus,” and why the foster program for dogs was no longer in effect.

The Board was asked whether they had received a letter from Councilman Michael Venezia, who had said he was going to submit a letter to be read at the meeting. No one was aware of any letter having been received, although Lore said she had not checked her email that day. Pat Gilleran asked whether they had received a letter she had submitted to the township administrator regarding unethical practices by the Health Department. The administrator had said she would turn it over to the Health Department; however, none of the Board members nor Karen Lore said they had seen it.

Some members of the public questioned why they received no responses to their questions sent via email.

The Board was also questioned about recent accusations that a dog and several cats had been put down. When asked point-blank whether a specific dog, Theo, had been “murdered,” Health Officer Mike Fitzpatrick said the dog was alive and well.

Brenda McAndrews, the mother of the children who had interacted with Memphis, spoke tearfully about her family’s experience with Memphis. She said she and her family had adopted Becca, another dog from the Bloomfield Animal Shelter who had dog aggression issues. They were at Coltenback’s pet store to get Becca treats and to talk to him about boarding Becca. While there, she said they made the acquaintance of Memphis, who had been quietly sittng behind a gate.

McAndrews stated Memphis had been friendly not only to her, but to her two children, even her son who she said tended to be “hyper.” Memphis did not react even when the boy came running in crying after being stung by a yellowjacket. She stated that Jeff asked if she’d mind if he took pictures of Memphis with her children and she said she was very willing to do so and was in no way coerced. She also said she would never put her children in harm’s way and at no time did Memphis ever react in any way other than “being happy.”

Some speakers questioned why Memphis was being held to a higher standard of behavior than any of the other shelter dogs.

  • Joe DelGuidice said that shelter dogs aren’t expected to be perfect when they first come into their adoptive home. He also stated, “A dog should have training throughout his lifetime,” and added that the owner should make the connection and get the response he wants from his pet. DelGuidice said that he had adopted a dog-aggressive dog from the shelter 6 years ago and training him out of his issues “was not an overnight process.” He also pointed out that when there were still in-house shelter volunteers,the adoption committee made sure the dogs were matched properly with the right household for their personalities, something that is much less likely to happen without the volunteers, who were dismissed from the shelter earlier this year.

After the first segment of public comment, Karen Lore delivered her Director’s Report. She began by discussing the October 13 public meeting where the new “Open Paw” program will be presented to the public (location to be announced).

Open Paw is a training system that is being implemented in shelters throughout the country to encourage better behavior among shelter animals. The shelter will be having the Open Paw trainers in town for 3 days in October, during which time they will have a public meeting explaining the program, and training sessions for volunteers and staff members.

Lore also stated that the Health Department’s new quality of life inspections are going well. She said that in response to complaints, 1500 re-inspections had been conducted.

She then went on to address many of the accusations made by the public. She explained it was impossible to reply to every email she has received since the Memphis controversy began; in fact, she admitted sometimes she does not even open them at all.

Lore also said, in response to accusations of wasting taxpayers’ money on Memphis’ evaluation, that Jim Crosby’s evaluation was paid for out of the Neighbor-to-Neighbor-Network’s Animal Support Fund, which ordinarily pays for medical and other services for the animals at the shelter.

Lore denied the accusations of abuse and neglect at the shelter, saying that Bloomfield Animal Shelter had been designated one of the top 5 shelters in New Jersey. She cited remarks by Jim Crosby, the animal behaviorist who evaluated Memphis most recently, in which he said the animals at the shelter are well-cared-for. She said the shelter is not “in decline,” saying this “is not true on any level.” She said that state officials had inspected the shelter and found it to be clean and well-run.

She said to her knowledge, the TNR program was still in place, although it is sometimes difficult to recruit volunteers for the program.

She said much information that had been posted on the internet is false, but did not specify exactly which information she was referring to.

Lore explained that the shortened hours for the public to visit the shelter were due to unspecified threats the shelter and management had been receiving. She said they had to have a police officer on site and due to cost constraints had to shorten the visiting hours. She also stated that the additional requirements for visitors to show ID and have copies of their licenses taken were implemented as a result of the threats.

Board of Health member Joel Elkins questioned Health Officer Mike Fitzpatrick regarding the requirement for visitors to not only show ID but to also let the shelter copy their personal information. Fitzpatrick said New Jersey law required that visitors show ID; however, the copying of the ID was not part of the law. Fitzpatrick said the copies were discarded at the end of each day.

Elkins instructed him to stop the practice of copying the identification and instead let visitors sign in and have the shelter worker document that the ID they show is consistent with the information on the sign-in sheet.

Coltenback and his supporters waited all day Friday for word to come about the decision made by the Board of Health.

Although details are not yet known, Coltenback stated they will be going to Essex County Superior Court on Friday, October 5, 2012. The Lexus Project lawsuit contends that the shelter is not acting in Memphis’ best interests. If Bloomfield loses the suit, it may cost the town $1 million.

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46 COMMENTS

  1. That is more $$ thrown away by Bloomfield Leaders. How much is that so far. The BOH must stop this nonsense and let the dog be adopted out to an obviously qualified applicant. Jeff C has the credentials and experience needed to work with this dog. He has the knowledge and ability to determine the dogs “hot spots” and work with Memphis so he becomes the loving representative of the breed that Daddy is to Caesar Milan.

    The other thing that annoys me is that once again the alledged leaders of Bloomfield are embroiled in yet another lawsuit. While I struggle to get the $$ to pay my taxes, they create reasons to increase them. Is this battle really about the dog or something else?

  2. “Memphis had been in the Coltenbacks’ care for 8 days for training before the Health Department forced them to return the dog after claiming Coltenback had violated the terms of his contract by exposing Memphis to children.” I thought so.

    If that pit bull mauled one of those kids(God forbid), you can be sure Bloomfield would be on the hook for way more than a million.

    Nice payday for the Coltenbacks if they win this lawsuit.

    This breed is a man-made Frankenstein creation. We should spay and neuter them out of existence. They were bred to kill, not to be companions or “nannies” for our kids. Ridiculous.

    I don’t want Memphis to suffer, just to go away peacefully and humanely.

  3. To sheepy… That is just the bigoted, uninformed type of comment that causes this type of bs. That poor dog has done NOTHING to warrant this treatment. Memphis deserves to live happily with the family that loves and wants to care for him. These idiots that are preventing it just because of his breed are just as pathetic as you are. LET MEMPHIS GO HOME WHERE HE BELONGS!!!!!!!! Best of luck and best wishes to Jeff and Diane Coltenback. Praying Memphis is returned to you soon.

  4. I don’t know why they just didn’t give the dog to the Coltenbacks!!The Board just want to murder Memphis!!The dog didn’t do anything to get the death sentence!BSL has got to stop!Stop murdering our dogs!Give the dog to the Coltenbacks who are qualified and love the dog.NO BREED IS MORE VICIOUS THAN OTHER BREEDS!!IT all depends on who raises each breed!and yes,this breed were used as nannies for children,Sheepy..I am disgusted with people like you who are racists!Crossing my fingers the Coltenbacks win!!

  5. Sheepy conveniently ignores the fact (well, many facts but…) that, while in Jeff Coltenbeck’s care, the town was held harmless from anything that might have gone wrong (nothing did) because the contract specifically transferred all responsibility for such events to Jeff solely.
    Further, no one ‘forced’ Jeff to return the dog. Lore ASKED for the return and Jeff willingly complied AND delivered Memphis to the shelter himself.
    As for Sheepy’s ‘Ifs’, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas. Sheepy is not clairvoyant, nor even remotely informed about the Pit Bull BREEDS (yes, there are several). Sheepy is aptly named for he runs with a herd of non-thinkers who perpetuate imaginary histories for the breeds, based on the herd’s ignorance and arrogance. Pits were indeed, historically called ‘The Nanny Dog’ and they were THE most popular breeds of dog in the USA for decades around the turn of the century. Several have been famous stars (Petey/Little Rascals) and mascots (RCA Victor, Buster Brown shoes), one was and is the most decorated war dog in history (Sgt. Stubby). And NOBODY EVER bred them to attack humans. Those that did breed them for fighting did so against other animals- otherwise a handler could never enter a ring to retrieve their own dog for fear of attack. The training Sheeplike imagines would have made that grotesque sport impossible to perform. But logic rarely enters the anti-pit mind. And the informed, responsible owners of Pit-breed dogs would prefer it if Sleepy and his cohorts would go away, in whatever manner the fates should visit on them.

  6. Wow Sheepy.. Could you be any more ignorant in your statements. Little do you know about anything let alone the history of this breed of dog. It is because of feeble minded ignorant individuals like yourself that we are in the situation that we are today. You should maybe try and get your facts straight before making comments on a subject you clearly no nothing about. This dog has NEVER done anything wrong yet he is being judged as dangerous based solely on his breed. The BOH didn’t like it that Memphis was doing so well in Jeff and Diana’s home and so they did the only logical thing that a sociopath Board of people could do.. they ordered him back into solitary.
    I am with you Jeff and Diana 100% until Memphis is home where he belongs and this power hungry Board is stripped over their ability to continue this reign of terror and abuse.

  7. Ignore sheepy. Don’t feed the trolls.

    Karen Lore taking credit for the excellent rating for the shelter is another indicator of her lack of character. The long-term core volunteers she fired in March worked and fought long and hard to make it what it is.

    She threw away the dedicated, committed people to institute a program that is multi-tiered with no guarantee of success either in implementation or success, and she’s asking the public for donations to foot the bill for the trainers to come in.

    Fiscal irresponsibility. Lack of rational thought. Lack of common sense. Lack of concern and compassion for the animals in her charge and the people who supported that shelter for a decade and a half.

  8. Hey Sheepy, how do you like your iphone5? Its been said before, but Bloomfield is not responsible for that dog. If they were at risk of being sued for adopting a dog that bites, there would be no animal shelter. My family have adopted at least 3 horrible dogs from that shelter, and a few more from PAWS. They bit, they chewed, they ran amok. And I loved them till they day they died. Had I known that Bloomfield was responsible for everything my shelter dogs did, I assure you I’d be driving a nicer car today. So I assume that the adoption contract that I an everyone else signs eliminate the liability of the town and shelter. So this isn’t about a dog might bite. If it was, they would have adopted it already! I know if my school was ranked in the lower 50% of the state, I wouldn’t take a million dollar gamble on a dog. As a tax payer, I’d rather see that money (since they are putting their money where their mouth is) go towards improving the schools.

  9. Well said Jimmytown. I am just in tears that this poor dog can’t be with a family that is so right for him. I don’t know about how the shelter is run etc,, though I do know I used to be proud when I could say they had a 90+ adoption rate – I believe a man named Pat ran it then
    I just know this is WRONG and I sincerely intend to take it our on my elected officials come election time – I own my home and I vote Mr. Mayor
    SEND MEMPHIS HOME – STOP SPENDING MY $$$$ ON STUPIDITY

  10. I’m really shocked at everything that is happening in this shelter. The Board of Health should be charged with animal abuse, and so should the people running the shelter. If they are throwing kibble on the ground for the dogs to eat they need to be very careful what they are cleaning the kennels with since most cleaners are toxic and will cause a lot of health problems for the dogs, including but not limited to kidney disease, esophogeal problems and cancer. The floors should be rinsed well anyway – but if they are actually feeding them off the floor just rinsing isn’t good enough, they need to change to a food safe cleaner. I hope Memphis can go home soon and I hope all the people get out to vote in the next election. I would, but I’m watching this happen from Canada.

  11. There was a decent turn out but at most it was 80 supporters dwindling to about a half of that by the time the meeting ended. Also I get that Baristanet is “citizen journalism” and with that being the case, along with the current state of professionalism in the field, one should consider the word “journalism” with a jaded eye. Still and all, it would seem ethics would call for an author reporting on a meeting, whom also participates and speaks to a certain viewpoint at the meeting, should make that known in the article written about the event. IMHO

  12. Here’s a great site with lots of facts about a very misunderstood breed.
    https://www.dogsbite.org
    It explains the origins of some pit bull myths like the “nanny dog”,the media conspiracy against pit bulls,the most popular dog in America, passing the American temperament test and a few others.
    Or, don’t read it and just go with your feelings. Either way, you have to admit that Memphis is a product of selective breeding. He was bred to kill and is the very best at it. Thanks for the mess, inhumane pit bull breeders.

  13. ~~77 pages that referrred to animal abuse- obtained via OPRA- people who reported animal abuse to the health Department – that was ignored

    ~~multiple abuse claims filed with NJ SPCA

    ~~Lore admits that NJ SPCA keeps making unannounced visits- why do ya think Karen at some point there gonna catch your homies in the act!

    ~~keeping copes of people’s drivers licenses – isn’t that illegal – doesn’t that open Bloomfield up to YET ANOTHER LAWSUIT??? What about identity theft? The BOH tried to say that it was no longer taking place- A voice came from the back of the room- it said – I WAS AT THE SHELTER TODAY AND THEY TOOK AND COPIED MY DRIVERS LICENCE – silence and hubbada-hubbada from the BOH

    ~~violating the Open Public Meetings act by refusing public comment at your public meeting of 9/6- a meeting held in the town council chambers in the MUNICIPAL BUILDING – and then the BOH claiming it wasn’t a public meeting

    ~~putting the FOSTERING and TNR programs on hiatus to hurt the animals

    ~~claiming you need to reduce hours so that police can be on hand at the shelter- please show somebody those threats- I postulate that they have been manufactured by the same people who feel the need to keep hiring unqualified workers and terminating them before they reach the end of their probationary period.

    There were several very nasty moments- one when a member of the Board of Health verbally attacked one of the people who testified – after the meeting but still on town property

    Another where a member of the NTNN fund raising committee (a committee that Lore supports since they fund her 501(c)3) verbally accosted and attacked a child and other members of the public who was carying a sign supporting Memphis prior to the meeting

    The funny part is that the health Department and BOH keep saying that this isn’t breed specific and yet emails and their treatment of memphis (who is a mixed breed dog like most at the shelter) shows that this is a Breed Specific issue. BSL is illegal in NJ.

    This whole thing is SPITE and POWER. Animal abuse was officially reported in February 2012. Lore and Fitzpatrick chose to ignore it and “fire” those who reported it. They’ve been covering up ever since.

    ~~Lore has also stated thet the Health Department is “autonomous” and that she reports to no one.

    This is one for the books!

  14. sheepy: Just the simple fact that you have referenced a website with twisted and bogus information for the backbone of your argument has totally discredited you and your words. Before you make negative comments about pit bulls alone, I would recommend that you do some research using valid information rather than basing your comments on some corkscrew information that was made up by some nut job.
    Bloomfield, Do the right thing and remember that the world is watching!
    SAVE MEMPHIS

  15. Stay away from the well little j-town. Memphis won’t be around to save you next time.

    Seriously, please direct me to the web sites that give the facts I’m missing about pit bulls.

  16. The time, energy, and money wasted on this issue is unbelievable. Here is a qualified family willing to take the dog — not only “willing” but desperate to take him! What is the problem? This is a one of the rare situations that make sympathize with libertarians!

  17. Goldstein, your remark is a fair one. I originally was not going to report on the August BOH meeting because I intended to speak as a citizen in support of Memphis. However, Baristanet readers were asking for coverage of the story and I offered to write about it, and the Baristas agreed even though they knew I had expressed my opinion on the situation. I know it is unorthodox and I usually do not express any public opinions about any of my other stories. On the Memphis issue I do try to show both sides of the story and only report facts in my articles. I will see if the Baristas would like me to include a disclaimer that I spoke, as a citizen, in support of Memphis, at the meeting.

    Regarding the attendance at the meeting, we were told the room held 150 people. When the meeting began the room was full and people were standing. It may be the estimate provided by the town was not correct . After the BOH chose to divide the public comment section in half, some of the people who spoke during the first period did leave.

    As for the use of the word “forced” in regard to Jeff Coltenback returning Memphis to the shelter, he did it because he had signed a contract that demanded he return the dog for any reason if the Board of Health requested him to. He complied with the terms of his contract. The last thing he wanted to do was return Memphis to the shelter, so while he willingly brought him back, he really had no choice but to do so.

    I hope this addresses anyone’s concerns.

  18. Mimi
    I think your reporting has been fair and excellent.
    I am just amazed though that this Lore person “answers to no one?”
    Heck even the Prez answers to someone – the voters
    I really want to know how is it the BOH is god – when they are funded with MY MONEY
    What can we do – other than vote the current slate out – to rectify this situation

  19. Susieruthy, I just want to make the facts clear. The BOH and Health Department do NOT want to kill Memphis. They have said repeatedly that they are not considering him for euthanasia (although originally euthanasia was one outcome that was mentioned in the contract Jeff Coltenback had signed)

  20. Sorry, the comment posted before I was finished. The BOH said they had made a decision about Memphis’ “placement,” which I would interpret as either placing him with another trainer or in sanctuary.

  21. Mcmeg, thank you for your support! Regarding Karen Lore answering to no one, which one of the speakers talked about at last night’s meeting, Lore said that she did not say that.. The speaker then said that Lore reports to the Board of Health, and Joel Elkins, one of the board members, said dryly “We are aware of that,” or something to that effect. So she does report in to the BOH. As for the BOH being autonomous, it is in many aspects, but the fact is that the Board is appointed by the town council. Mayor McCarthy had asked at the last council meeting what the council could legally do to affect the BOH’s actions and I assume this will be addressed at Monday evening’s conference meeting.

  22. Mimi, it wouldn’t surprise me if goldstein was a pseudonym for Fitzpatrick. He can be seen in your photo sitting behind the board members in front of the Judge’s rear entrance to the courtroom, From that position it would be easy to miss many in the audience who were standing several rows deep in the back or sitting on the floor.
    BTW, of was gutsy of you to sneak that shot after Mclaughlin had pronounced, baselessly, that all photos and video would be forbidden. I know you knew you were within your rights.

  23. Thank you for the your comments Mimi, I do find the reporting to be fair. And for the record goldstein isn’t Fitzpatrick, misses nothing and there were no more than 80 in the crowd.

  24. Sheepy, NO DOG should be a “nanny” for children. If anyone thinks that, then they should not have a dog. When people refer to the “nanny” dog, they mean that the dogs tend to be gentle towards children. They are more tolerant to what children may do to them…such as pulling, puching, climbing on them, etc. Things that other breeds tend to be less tolerant of. They don’t actually mean the dog watches children! No one in their right minds believes that the movie Peter Pan is real!
    You like to say that this breed should be bred out. The very traits that humans have exploited in this breed are the same ones that humans are now using to better this breed. Humans are the ones that need to have ceratin traits bred out of them. Humans are the ones that have exploited traits of all breeds of animals to their own benefit. Humans are the ones that gain enjoyment & money from the use of animals, no matter what the cost is to the animal.
    Thankfully, more humans are working to change what previous generations have created. There are “bad” dogs out there….they come from all breeds. They also were probably never socialized, trained properly and/or given the love & attention they needed. The same can be said for humans.
    The only type of dog that I have ever been bitten by was a pure bred norweign elkhound. Our family dog when I was a child. Had her from since she was a pup. Bit right thru my lip. All I did was lay next to her as I had always done. Turns out she was sick & in pain. She showed no signs of this. I had apparently leaned on her side & caused her great pain. She reacted. That was the first & last time she had ever bitten anyone…and no it wasn’t because she was put to sleep. We loved her until she passed away many years later.
    I think it’s safe to say that you have never interacted with Memphis. If you had, in a way that was caring & supportive, you would see that he is a good dog. No matter his breed…he IS a good dog. I have interacted with him. I have prevented my children from interacting with dogs of different sizes & breeds but Memphis was not one of them.
    You can continue with your “horror” what ifs and biased internet sites supporting your ignorance. BTW, one should never take what is written on the internet as truth, I believe Karen Lore even stated this at the BOH meeting. I can provide actual facts about Memphis. I was there. I touched him. I fed him. So did my children. They were not in danger of being “mauled”.
    I do know that I will be sure to keep my children away from you, if you ever decide to give your real name. I know what type of things are dangerous to them and the ignorance & lies you spout ARE dangerous to them.
    This will be all I have to say to you. You can accuse me of anything you like. You will most likely be wrong, as usual. I know that I am a good mother. I know I never put my children in harms way when they spent time with Memphis. You were not there. You do not know. You need to speak only of what you know. Which appears to be very little.
    Also, I believe that any money the Coltenbacks are awarded will be used to help, not themselves but others & animals. They are not doing this for the money. They could care less about it.

  25. “Humans are the ones that need to have ceratin traits bred out of them.”
    Do you REALLY believe that “little one”? It sounds like a quote from Hitler.

    A good mother would NEVER let her brood near a pit bull, especially during it’s probationary period from the pound. I highly doubt the Coltenbacks judgement given the fact that they would allow you to endanger your poor kids with a pi bull. Shame on both of you. The Coltenbacks will not get a 2nd chance with Memphis, they and you failed the first one. Why should we roll the dice with them again?

  26. Sheepy, unless you post under your real name and state how you’ve come upon all of your “facts” regarding Memphis, his behavior, and the Coltenbacks and how they they “failed” with Memphis the first time then everything negative you have to say is suspect and disregarded by all of us.

    We have seen Memphis at the shelter. Many of us saw Memphis with Jeff. We are posting what we know firsthand and identifying ourselves. Unless you can do the same, go away and find something else to sabotage and someone else to defame.

    To every one else, I told you not to feed the troll!

  27. Sheepy, the traits I was speaking of were the behavioral ones. The ones that allow people to have such hatred. My use of the term “bred” was used because of your use of it. I should have used “taught”. Thinking back…yes, that is what I should have said because the behavioral traits of some humans need only be “taught” out of them because it was most likely “taught” to them. Just like animals are taught. Once again, you jump right to an extreme….”quote from Hitler”. Do think your shock tactics make you seem like you have a legitimate arguement?
    I am a good mother. I do not feel shame by what has happened. I do not judge one being, based on a group. I use my own experiences with that individual to make an informed decision. Not based on what others say or with an experience I may have had in the past with someone/thing. We do not live in a perect world. Should a GOOD mother keep her children from getting in a car, on a plane or walk down a street, etc because of what may or may not happen? According to you, a good parent should keep their children in a bubble. Honestly, I’m more afraid of having my children possibly come in contact with you. The hate & fear that must reside in your heart is sad.
    I really do feel sorry for you. Imagine all the things in life you may & will miss (good & bad)because of your fears & bias. If you have children, I hope you do not pass those along to them.
    You can attack me all you want. You don’t know me. I don’t know you. Nothing you can say will make me doubt my actions. I’m sure you’ll have more to say on this since you seem to enjoy “hearing” yourself bash others. I have more important things to do with my time & energy than argue with you. Peace.

  28. …and in the meantime the weeds continue to grow higher and higher and the garbage remains on the property instead of being put out for pick up at the dump next door….. ridiculous. Is the entire department spending all their time preventing this man from adopting a dog? This is why we pay taxes!?

  29. I thought that Montclair had the least competent government in the area. Bloomfield is making Montclair look like Switzerland.

    The Bloomfield governing body should simply be ashamed of themselves. There are some obvious bad players and an obvious lack of oversight. The expense and time could certainly be spent more productively. You should all be totally embarrassed this fiasco.

  30. The letter from J. McLaughlin, president of the BoH (so why does Elkins run the meetings?) read at Monday night’s council meeting was a joke. Everything McLaughlin spoke of was at the very least second hand information, all of it coming from Lore and/or Fitz. And we all know how truthful those to are! The description of Memphis’ behavior when he was picked up by animal control is a complete fabrication. The animal control officer who picked him up has a much different description. Don’t you think the officer’s input should have been obtained? I know that’s what I would have done.

    The ACO was able to get a leash on Memphis and he hopped right into the officer’s personal van. If he was vicious, snarling or agitated why wasn’t he kept on a catch pole and transported in the official truck with the barrier that would separate him from the officer? Why, when he was brought to People for Animals in Hillside to be neutered did the staff all say what a wonderful, calm, well-behaved dog he was? Why didn’t McLaughlin get first-hand accounts? Because it’s easier to get the info from Lore, Fitz and Georgovich who clearly have their own agendas.

    However, even if the dog was ‘agitated and snarling’ it would be completely understandable to anyone with any experience working or volunteering in an animal shelter.

    These people are self-important bureaucrats enjoying their time in the limelight. They make decisions based on second and third-hand information provided by people like Lore and Fitz who clearly have their own agendas. How can anything the BoH decides be taken seriously? Hell, how do they live with themselves especially in this situation with Memphis making pronouncements about something they have no firsthand knowledge about much less the qualifications to make those pronouncements?

    What a sad, sick joke on a poor innocent animal and the people who love him and want to bring him home.

  31. Why sheepy, it was so wrong to bring a Hitler reference to the discussion. Try to keep the discourse polite and factual, everyone here wants what is best for Memphis. I’m sure none of the ex-volunteers are involved because of their own axes to grind. I’m sure none of the animal lovers among us would ever post things so over the top as to resort to name calling or comparing the administration and shelter staff to the Nazis or Hitler. That would be full-tilt bozo to act that way over this. Not to mention it’s well known that Nazi or Hitler references posted on an internet forum show your valid arguments are out of gas. It’s a sign of desperation. Wait a moment………. Oh… Goldstein Junior just tugged at my arm and recited the below URL to me, an item from the unofficial shelter page. Ok so maybe they would trivialize the Holocaust and suffering of millions over this. I stand corrected. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=470360729652700&set=o.194489033919119&type=1&theater

  32. I just read an article that Memphis has been moved to an undisclosed location out of the shelter. WHAT IS WRONG WITH BLOOMFIELD? The town’s reputation continues to decline. Return Memphis to the Coltenbacks, and we hope they also get every dime of the million dollar lawsuit. Ms. Michalski, please continue supporting, and writing your articles about, Memphis!

  33. So it finally comes out that the Board’s mysterious secret decision was to spirit Memphis out of the shelter and out of town after the meeting. Fitzpatrick had suggested during the meeting that he feared someone might stage a dognapping attempt at the shelter, and additional security measures were required. Of course, the Board went along — like the lapdogs they’ved always been. https://www.northjersey.com/news/170839431_Bloomfield_officials_mum_on_pit_bull_s_location.html

  34. What a sick, twisted, miserable, mean-spirited, out of touch bunch of know-nothings the BoH is! Instead of learning firsthand what the real situation is, by talking to everyone who had any contact with Memphis, they took the easy, gutless way out and asked Lore and Fitz. Not exactly two people known for their veracity.

    As usual, due to a lack of concern and compassion for the animals in their charge, Lore and Fitz saw fit to further traumatize an innocent animal who can’t stand up for himself. And, God forbid he ever does, he will pay with his life. I’m out of words to describe these poor excuses for human beings.

    I am outraged at what is happening at the shelter, with Memphis, and the lack of support and action by the mayor and council who appointed these volunteer dictators known as the Board of Health. I am thoroughly disgusted with Karen Lore, a woman who had my complete respect and admiration just over a year ago. I defended her to the other volunteers until I started seeing the chinks in her character. Now I know she has none and I was a fool. I was the last to see the light, but I finally did.

    Fitzpatrick was trouble from the day he walked into the shelter. What he did to drag it down is another story all together. His lack of concern for the animals, his disdain and lack of respect and common courtesy toward the volunteers, his extremely questionable choices for shelter staff (blessed by Karen Lore and the BoH), and his ability and tendency to fabricate “facts” are just the tip of the iceberg.

    This issue with Memphis is just a symptom of everything that is wrong with him, Karen Lore, the Board of Health and their “ability” to run and interest in the animal shelter.

    I thank God I am nothing like any of them. But my heart breaks over the damage they’re doing to my beloved shelter and possibly to that innocent dog Memphis.

  35. Wow! I checked out your link goldstein and it made me want to vomit. The pure hate and sickness coming out of SOME of the Memphis supporters is insane. The Memphis supporters have demonized me, my children,called me names etc. I never dreamed that they would create such a hateful, sick and disgusting site to attack someone they disagree with. Hey Memphis supporters, you can thank the creators of that hateful site for the fate of Memphis. You went too damn far, congratulations. Shame on you!

  36. @sheepy

    Your children called you names! I’m glad they see the light. Duke would like it if you rehomed him – he wrote to me asking for me to take him in. I’m considering it.

  37. @goldstein what are you talking about? That page has photos of Memphis and his supporters- and you find that objectionable. When the BOH and Health department isolated and allegedly let Memphis be abused that is the page that kept him out in front of the public.

    As a jew who lost all of her relatives in the holocaust I really object to your defending the alleged abuser of Memphis and pretending that we are calling them names- we are not.They have imprisoned the dog- we are in fear for his life. and in fear for the other amnimals at the shelter.

    new reports have come out of the shelter that the cat’s litter pans are not being cleaned- that thei water is dirty and not being changed- that there is not enought staff to properly clean the kennels.And yet they are using the Open paw method and throwing food on the floor of the kennels.

    And the BOH had to admit at their meeting that people’s drivers licenses are being copied and retained – yeah first they claimed it had stopped but a woman who had been at the shleter that day stepped forward and said that her’s had been copied that day- and on facebook people are stepping forward whose licenses were photocopied in March of 2012. F Mike Fitz claimed that they were photocopying (illegal act) licenses because of threats that were received and yet tehy started copying licenses far in advance of this fiasco.

    They have spent the taxpayers money unethically and with impunity.They have ruined Bloomfield’s reputation. And now we are paying to board memphis at an undisclosed location. Unethical and fiscally irresponsible.

    I am outraged. Others are outraged. We will go to the town council once again and demand that our elected officials take charge- remove the BOH from Shelter Operations and mount an ethics inquiry into Lore and Fitz!

  38. I hope the very best for the dog and soon. His being caged up and not in a stable environment for so long can’t be a good thing for him or those that will have to care for him. But saying I’m defending the alleged abuser of Memphis? I don’t know how you came to that conclusion Ms. Gilleran, well other than you like to see and hear your own self-important words and discount those of anyone not marching in lock-step with you. Did you actually click on the link I posted? Or did you just don your disapproving sneer and bang out the above rant. Go take a look, “As a jew who lost all of her relatives in the holocaust” maybe you’ll find the illustration as disgusting as I. Or not. From what I’ve read I believe you’re one of the ex-volunteers. Maybe you have some pull with those that run the unofficial shelter page. Maybe their posts will also outrage you and you will do the right thing. Or not.

  39. Yes I clicked on the link. Yes I looked at the page. Yes I am one of the “fired” volunteers.

    No there is nothing on the page that is disgusting or refers to Hitler, Nazis or the holocaust. There are a lot of photos of memphis – do you find him digusting – I think he’s a beautiful dog.

    I require no-one to march with me – but lots are 200 at the March for Memphis – over 100 at both of the last BOH meetings (do you know how difficult it is to motivate someone to come to a town meeting)

    That’s not the “unofficial shelter page” that is the OFFICIAL VOLUNTEER facebook page. With over 6,000 likes. I was there when Karen Lore tried to wrestle it from the hands of the volunteers and demanded that we turn it over to her (yes my dear I was on the Media Committee)

    I am outraged that you would make sh*t like this up.

  40. @ pat gilleran, I use this sheepy avatar to say things that I would never associate with my real name. I’m purposely a troll or a d!ck at times when I want to say something that I have a dissenting opinion about. I’m shocked that you would say the things you do while using you’re real name. Memphis is the least of your problems, get some help you sick hysterical maniac.

  41. Ah sheepy there is the difference between you and I. I am NOT a troll. I am NOT a d!ck. I an an involved resident who gives of her time, loves her town and makes a difference.

    I suggest that you learn to only post under your REAL NAME it will make you more responsible and will make it so you don’t libel others.

    Anonymity is well-known to cause users to misbehave. Users lose their inhibition when they and others are anonymous. There are several factors contributing to this disinhibition effect, including:

    Dissociative anonymity: Since what a user does online won’t be directly linked to the rest of their lives, the user’s online self becomes compartmentalized, and the user may feel free to act differently.

    Invisibility: The users may find it easier to act out when he cannot physically see or hear the people he is interacting with.

    Asynchronicity: Users may find it easier to post something personal or difficult to say when they don’t have to face the consequences of their posting immediately – they can leave it there, and do not have to return to it.

    Solipsistic introjection: When interacting with others online, a user might experience the other people “as a voice within [the user’s] head” .

    The others seem to become a part of the user’s internal world. The user feels as though he is talking to himself, which makes him feel safe to unleash thoughts and feelings that he normally considers private.
    Dissociative imagination: The online world in which the user interacts seems compartmentalized, like a “make-believe dimension, separate and apart from the demands and responsibilities of the real world”.

    As a result, she does not follow the rules of behavior she normally does.
    Minimization of authority: Online, the trappings of authority are invisible, and the limitations of appearances do not affect a user’s interactions with others.

  42. I clicked on the link and it only brought up an album of Memphis pictures. Goldstein, perhaps you posted the wrong link? Be that as it may, I know there have been some nasty comments on that page. But it is difficult to regulate the feelings of people who are beyond frustrated with this situation. And sooner or later in any contentious discussion, “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin’s_law”>Godwin’s Law comes into play. Sheepy has also expressed himself very strongly – but of course he – or she? – has admitted he wouldn’t say these things if he used his real name. I used to use a pseudonym on on-line sites as well but I decided it was unethical to say things under a false name, especially if I wouldn’t say them otherwise. I do find it telling that Sheepy says “Why should WE roll the dice with them [the Coltenbacks] again?” as if he were a member of, say, the Board of Health or the Health Department, or someone closely connected. It would be interesting if so, as the anti-pitbull remarks he makes would prove that breed is part of the reason Memphis is being held, despite all of the Board’s protests to the contrary. However, since he chooses to post his opinions behind an anonymous pseudonym, we can only wonder.

  43. “I clicked on the link and it only brought up an album of Memphis pictures. Goldstein, perhaps you posted the wrong link?”

    —well, when I click on the link, I see an ugly, hateful image that adds some troubling complexity to this situation. It certainly lends immediate credence to the under-reported part of this story, the threats received by the Shelter.

    “Be that as it may, I know there have been some nasty comments on that page. But it is difficult to regulate the feelings of people who are beyond frustrated with this situation.”

    —THAT is a revolting bit of rationalization. The frustrations with an Animal Shelter explain the use of Nazi imagery? Disgusting.

    ” I do find it telling that Sheepy says “Why should WE roll the dice with them [the Coltenbacks] again?” as if he were a member of, say, the Board of Health or the Health Department, or someone closely connected. ”

    —So, Mimi, you are going to engage in this paranoid fantasy nonsense as well? So much for your claims of fairness. I cannot understand why you are being allowed to “report” on this.

    Baristanet seems to be digging itself a hole here. I’m surprised its proprietors are putting up with this garbage.

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