Bloomfield Board of Health Releases Statement on Memphis

Please see Editor’s Note on related post before commenting.

BLOOMFIELD BOARD OF HEALTH
SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 STATEMENT ON MEMPHIS

Background

Memphis is a dog who was housed at the Bloomfield John A Bukowski Shelter for Animals, which is supervised by the Bloomfield Department of Health.

While residing at the Bloomfield shelter, certain behavioral triggers on Memphis’ part were noted by the shelter staff, and as a result it was arranged for Memphis to be evaluated by the St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center. The subsequent report by St. Hubert’s noted that Memphis demonstrated aggressive tendencies in certain situations, which in their opinion made him a high risk for adoption:

“Despite the fact that Memphis has many good qualities, I do not trust him… Putting him out into society is extremely risky since he is an accident waiting to happen…. I would not want to live next door to this dog.” – Pia Silvani, CPDT-KA, CCBC-KA, VP of Training and Behavior, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, 03/04/12

At its July 2012 meeting, the BOH approved an agreement negotiated by township attorney with Jeff Coltenback, a Bloomfield resident who had volunteered to work with Memphis to determine his amenability to behavior modification. After approximately eight days in Mr. Coltenback’s care, Mr. Aloia asked that Memphis be returned to the shelter over concerns for the safety of the gereral public. Memphis was then re-evaluated by St. Hubert’s – their findings remained the same, which was that Memphis was still a high risk for adoption:

“The risk of someone being bitten by Memphis when they enter a home environment or run is very high… Adopting him out to the general public would be a liability risk to people and other animals.” – Pia Silvani, 08/09/12

Present

At the August BOH meeting, Mr. Coltenback expressed his opinion during the public comment section that Memphis needed no rehabilitation, and he expressed his desire to adopt the dog. After hearing from the public, and after being briefed by Acting Director Karen Lore on related events since the Board’s July meeting, the BOH agreed to the following:

• Since questions has been raised about the prior evaluations, Ms. Lore was asked to find another party to provide an unbiased evaluation of Memphis, and;
• That Ms. Lore should begin to explore options for providing Memphis with rehabilitation for the aggression noted in the evaluations performed by St. Hubert’s, with the goal of making Memphis adoptable.

Noted expert Jim Crosby, who had been recommended by several people including Mr. Coltenback, was hired to evaluate Memphis. Mr. Crosby examined Memphis on September 6th, 2012, and made his findings known at a public forum held on the same date. Like St. Hubert’s, Mr. Crosby also noted certain aggressive tendencies which he believed made Memphis unsuitable for adoption at the present time – however Mr. Crosby also expressed confidence that Memphis could be successfully rehabilitated in an appropriate setting (what he referred to as a ‘controlled environment’).

At its September meeting, the BOH met with it’s [sic] attorney and reviewed the case history and the rehabilitative options for Memphis. The BOH attorney expressed his legal opinion that there were significant liability issues for the BOH and the Township of Bloomfield which simply could not be resolved under the circumstances, except by utilizing a previously uninvolved third-party for the rehabilitation. Given that finding, the BOH decided that the only acceptable option which satisfied both the liability and the public safety concerns was to send Memphis for rehabilitation to a controlled environment where he could properly be supervised and managed. Upon notification that Memphis’ behavior has been successfully modified, he will be re-evaluated for adoptability. Upon completion of a positive evaluation for adoptability, Memphis will be available for adoption to a loving home.

Following the Board’s decision, Memphis was transported out of the shelter to receive rehabilitation in the appropriate setting where he can be properly managed and trained.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. OMG this is what Karen Lore tried to do to the volunteers- brainwash us and had us sign away our civil rights. Then when some of us complained she had us terminated.

    Will she have Memphis terminated?

    Will she have him poked with a rubber arm and accosted by agressive people as she did in the evaluation with Pia Silvani – Incidentally Ms. Silvani says she makes no recommendations as to pass or fail in her “evaluations” using the Sue Sternberg “Assess-a-pet” method. A non scientific method that is questioned by many many dog trainers. Ms. Sternberg admits that her own dogs would not pass her test.

    Pray for Memphis. We have OPRA’d The Health Department/BOH records on the ashelter manager’s comments but the Health department/BOH refuses to make them available(gee I wonder why). Every time we turn around what they have claimed has been provedn to be untrue – proven by their own records.

  2. I am confused, didn’t I read that last night the Council voted to give Memphis to Mr Coltenback? But now he is off to some undisclosed location for rehab? Am I missing something here? (maybe need more coffee?)

  3. Per the previous article https://www.baristanetnew.wpengine.com/2012/09/bloomfield-council-votes-to-settle-memphis-case-before-court-date/,

    “After the meeting, Attorney Aloia explained that there is still much work to do in negotiating the settlement regarding Memphis. He said the settlement must be agreed upon by the Board of Health attorney, the township attorneys, and the Lexus Project.”

    The statement above reflects the decision that must have been made in closed session at the Board of Health meeting on Thursday.

  4. “Memphis was transported out of the shelter to receive rehabilitation in the appropriate setting where he can be properly managed and trained.”

    Gee,what happened to The Memphis Project, Karen Lore? What about your new kennel attendant supervisor Ms. Kathleen Georgovich, the “dog trainer”? She couldn’t do anything with Memphis in all the time he’s been at the shelter (since February 6) but Jeff Coltenback had him in his home for a mere 8 days and the dog behaved beautifully? Seems the problem wasn’t Memphis at all but the people he was handled by, and we’ve heard about that rough treatment.

    And what about Ms. Georgovich’s comments on Memphis’ intake form stating ‘he is not aggressive’? Memory lapse?

    What a crock. Just like everything else that comes out of the Health Department and from the Board of Health.

  5. The only thing more in danger than Memphis at the moment is commenting on the issues here at Barista!

    Yes Pat I saw the intake report on the unofficial sight. Good work, better late than never I guess. And it matters not to me how you came to have it, but I suppose your thinking it would is a manifestation of your, umm, imaginings. I also applaud how quickly it was posted on the page what with how busy it was made it out to be yesterday. I do see that that threat by the page’s friend username “Christi Porch” is still there. You know the one that says “Can’t someone just take that sick bitch out????”. Now she posted that on Sept 7th at 2:12 pm. The photo and its comments were shared 125 times and if the pages timing on when it was shared is accurate, the pages friend with the username “Pat Gilleran” shared that photo and its comments twice, once on Sept 7th at 5:29 pm and again at 6:11pm. That’s after that reprehensible comment was made. Was that you Ms. Gilleran? Whether it was or wasn’t, it still shows the type of mindsets and motives at work there.

  6. First of all, everything is not fine. We are not protected from lawsuits and if everyone was so concerned they would already know that a $1 million lawsuit has already been filed against the town for not serving Memphis’ best interests. So how do you feel about that after such an impressive comment?
    That being said, the dog is not aggressive as noted on his intake form. It was not by coincidence that this was obtained Mr Know It All. It was obtained after many requests for an OPRA release of information which we as the public have a right to have. The BOH has consistently been caught in lies; documented. That intake form was posted because they released a statement saying Memphis was aggressive and snarling which it clearly says he was neither.
    I’m sure none of you reside in Bloomfield or pay taxes because if you did, you know at least that much before you comment. Additionally, people, not just animal advocates are sickened by the corruption being displayed by the people whose salaries we pay. So if people make nasty comments out of frustration, we don’t condone it but we can certainly understand the root of it. Open your eyes and stop hiding behind tag names. ~ D. Loffredo

  7. You got me there D, I’m just one of that big old 47%. But Mom taught me well about two wrongs not making a right. So as with you I don’t condone the threats of violence either. As for understanding their roots? I think I do also… Mental illness.

  8. it looks to me like they bent over backwards to see to the needs of this dog while protecting the general public. Vulnerable humans in our society should have it so good.

  9. goldstein what do you mean “better late than never” as if I had control of the document all along. I had to force the file out the health Department/BOH and I’m pretty suspicious that there was more in the file and it’s been removed- I’ve never see a file so thin… Bye the way- the township attorney had to get involved since the Health department did not respond to the record clerk’s request.

    Oh goldstein -pages don’t have freinds- only people have friends on facebook.

  10. RoC we ARE the vulnerable humans. I certainly can’t afford to have my taxes raised because of incompetance at the Bloomfield Health Department/BOH.

  11. I think it best that people do more than read an article on Baristanet before commenting Mr Goldstein. I don’t recall having met you at any of the BOH or town council meetings. If you ever decide to, not only can you meet the people who care and take a proactive role (including me) but you might actually learn something; the truth.
    Also, I don’t think your mommy would approve of name calling. Mental health is a field I deal a lot with. It’s actually a serious issue and should not be thrown around lightly.
    And for the other tagger who said they seemed to have bent over backwards to protect the public, I’d like to know what your opinion is on them jailing a harmless animal who has never harmed a fly and then allowing others to bite ‘the public’ and still be adopted without the training Memphis is currently reportedly getting. If he is with a reputable trainer, release the info. Very simple. Again, please educate yourselves before commenting.

  12. True Ms. Gilleran, I got the semantics wrong. I should have said individuals who liked the page, the facebook equivalent of friends for organization type pages. Forgive me. However the fact remains that an individual that liked the fired volunteers page, with the same name as you, did share that photo and its threatening, mocking and name calling comments as I’ve previously posted. I just checked, its still there. What does the comment “Can’t someone just take that sick bitch out????” mean to you Ms. Gilleran? Is there some sort of nice meaning to it that I’m missing? If someone posted that in reference to me or anyone I knew I know I’d be concerned with it. I sure wouldn’t be spreading it around more.

  13. So does this mean they are still negotiating a settlement with Jeff?? Or does it mean the BOH is ignoring the advises of our mayor and councilmen and doing their own thing???
    And if the second is the case – I would think the lawsuit would continue- no?

  14. Sheepy’s back with the radically uninformed angle. Glad we’re all keeping you’re addled gray cells entertained.

    The statement is more of the same nonsense. Bureaucrats masquerading as dog experts, telling the real expert how to train dogs. When I go in for surgery, it’s not the Hospital’s administrators I want directing the knife. I’ll take the actual surgeon.

    And lawsuits? Geez, Sheepy, keep up. The first goes to trial on October 5th. Others will follow if the Board continues to bury its collective head in the sand. Bloomfield has not yet begun to feel the effects of it’s inept and ego-maniacal leadership. Do enjoy the ride!

  15. Mr. D, again we’re in agreement, mental illness certainly is a serious issue as are violent threats. And if in fact you “deal a lot with” those issues, you understand that the former is often connected to the latter. So I’m nothing but serious in what I say. And to assume I haven’t been to meetings because I’m not marching in lockstep with those that think the end justifies the means, as examples the threats, disgusting photos, etc is to assume a lot. You post your truth and I’ll post mine. I’m just glad it seems to be coming to a good end for Memphis. But I’ve learned much about those around me in all of this.

  16. @jcunningham – are YOU now saying that that was MY comment. I object to your libeling me.

    I see absolutely nothing that I shared on 9/7 and that’s not my comment and not my style.

  17. got to love love love it- Mr. D hahahaha

    No it appears that the Health Department and BOH have decided to up-the-ante and ignore the Town Council. After all, Ms. Lore has made it perfectly clear that no one is the boss of her.

  18. It seems rather unfortunate that you’re focusing so much on one statement from one individual rather than the facts of this current situation. Do you have any response to anything anyone is posting with real merit? You have not responded to anything relevant anyone is saying. So forgive me that I have assumed that you don’t come to meetings because it seems we’re educating you quite a bit. Its not my truth, there is only one. I can prove documented lies from BOH, including but not limited to withholding information. Mr. 47%, don’t you care to know where your money is going? Oh and next meeting, please introduce yourself. 10/1. I promise to hold back the snarling supporters.

  19. “@jcunningham – are YOU now saying that that was MY comment. I object to your libeling me.

    I see absolutely nothing that I shared on 9/7 and that’s not my comment and not my style.”

    —Pat, this post makes absolutely no sense of any kind. i think you are responding to goldstein, but have decided in your delirium to erroneously address the comment to me.

    if you feel libeled, get a lawyer. of course, you’d have to explain to that lawyer what it is you are talking about, and i am confident that conversation would leave that lawyer scratching his/her head, much like the Baristaville community does when you post here.

  20. @dloffredo:

    “Mental health is a field I deal a lot with. It’s actually a serious issue and should not be thrown around lightly”

    —if you do indeed have a background in this field and you have been reading the posts on this topic, then you should well know that these claims are not being thrown around lightly. there’s been enough delusion, denial and paranoia exhibited here to fill a textbook…

  21. Yes Ms. Gilleran in your world it can only be one person with multiple names that could be against your oh so perfect way of doing things. I’m not jcunningham and I never said you made the comment but that someone with the username of “Pat Gilleran” twice shared the photo with attached comments including the threatening one made by username “Christi Porch”. So Ms. Loffredo is it? It’s hard to tell online sometimes, I guessed perhaps that you were the young, very emotional man at the BOH meeting the other night. But I’m glad it gave Ms. Gilleran a chuckle, she always seems so dour. Let me ask you, are seeming threats of violence against people you are in disagreement with over an issue such as this acceptable to you? And even if you didn’t make them yourself, would you leave them on a website that you were in control of? As I’ve written, I’ve learned a lot about people on both sides of this issue lately. A lot of it isn’t good

    P.S. Just one statement? Ms. Loffredo, maybe you should spend some more time at the unofficial shelter/fired volunteers page. There are many more than “one statement” to be found.

  22. We don’t need quotes to know what we say. Yes, I am in the field. I’m not even sure your comment is worth responding to however, I will.
    Seriously, you can’t think that we condone nasty or violent comments. I personally have made none so please, if you can’t comment on what we have said, don’t comment at all. There are many Memphis and animal shelter aupporters on that page and not all comments can be caught or monitored. That being said I don’t oversee that page. Why don’t you comment and say how offended you are by it. You and Goldstein.
    In the meantime, I can tell you that unless you have something worthy to post, please spare the public recaps of ours.
    Back to mommy duty ~”Mr. D” lol

  23. “We don’t need quotes to know what we say”

    —I disagree—and the rest of your post goes on to prove that point.

    “Seriously, you can’t think that we condone nasty or violent comments”

    —I think it’s up for debate at the very least, if not for you, then for some of your compatriots here.

    “There are many Memphis and animal shelter aupporters on that page”

    —what page? the facebook page? I have never visited that page directly so i have no idea what you are carrying on about. I did see the offensive page kbanda censored thru a link here on Barista.

    “That being said I don’t oversee that page. Why don’t you comment and say how offended you are by it. You and Goldstein.

    —three sentences and not a coherent thought among them. now THAT offends me…

    “I can tell you that unless you have something worthy to post, please spare the public recaps of ours”

    —recaps are quite different from quotes. which is it your are “banning” me from writing again?

  24. I THINK THE BOH IS WHAT NEEDS TO BE REHABILITATED! THEIR MORE OF A THREAT TO THE COMMUNITY THAN MEMPHIS! MORE TAX PAYER MONEY BEING WASTED WHEN THERE WAS A PERFECTLY GOOD TRAINER AND ADOPTER FOR HIM TO GO TO! AS I HAVE SAID NUMEROUS TIMES MY DOG I GOT FROM THE SHELTER MAKES MEMPHIS LOOK LIKE A KITTEN BUT THEY DIDN’T STOP ME! THIS IS SPITE WORK ON OUR TAX DOLLAR! HE COULD HAVE BEEN PERFECTLY TRAINED IN HIS HOME WITH JEFF JUST AS I TRAINED MINE!HE HAS NORMAL ISSUES ANY DOG CAN BE TRAINED WITH! IT’S TIME TO SHAKE UP THE TOWN, TOO MANY LIES COVER UPS NO ACCOUNTABILTY NO TRANSPARENY, I KNOW I DON’T WANT MY TAX MONEY GOING TO A SIX FIGURE SALARY OF SOMEONE WHO’S WREAKING HAVOC IN MY TOWN! EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE ACCOUNTABLE TO SOMEONE!IF THE TOWN COUCIL CAN’T DO IT TIME TO CALL THE ATTORNEY GENERAL! THEY ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO TAYPAYERS AND VOTERS AND WE NEED TO MAKE IT KNOWN! GOD KNOWS WHAT ELSE IS BEING MISHANDLED!

  25. Of course Memphis is in rehab, he’s a celebrity now. Don’t they all go away to an undisclosed locale for rehab?

    Jokes aside, the governing bodies of Bloomfield continue to make a joke of the township. Be it Ray McCarthy, the council, Karen Lore, or the Board of Ed, our town is the laughing stock of New Jersey due to their incompetence.

    The BOH could have given the Coltenbecks the dog along with an ironclad contract of adoption absolving the township of all liability.

  26. @ Bleveman and Bellina: it’s nice to see people who are educated and clearly care how our tax dollars are being spent. I am with you on that. Not to mention having compassion for the treatment of animals in need.
    @ Cunningham; it’s nice to see that you know how to cut and paste but clearly reading is not your strong point. The one carrying on and on about a particular comment was Goldstein. My response, which still no one has responded to my valid points (I’m still waiting…) was to point out that I am not the one who made any such comment. I’d be more than happy to continue this conversation about relevant topics connected to the shelter and Memphis in particular. It seems you have done a fine job helping to prove OUR point that the BOH, Lore and Fitzpatrick are not fit for the jobs they currently have. It’s probably best they obtained a criminal defense attorney, it just shows they’re being proactive. Just love our tax dollars at work…

  27. No Ms. Loffredo I’m not a member of the DOH or BOH that you and your pals fantasize that you are addressing here. If you read all my posts from yesterday and today and possessed a modicum of critical thinking ability you might have figured that out by now. I’m none to happy with them or any of the involved politicians. It has been and still is a great waste of money. Officials may have acted poorly. The system is slow to move, maybe even corrupt. The dog shouldn’t have been held so long in those conditions. So no kidding huh? They are all valid points which were already very obvious. So there, your waiting has paid off and you can hold your esteemed head high now that you got validated on restating what has already been acknowledged on this site a number of times. My beef was with something much more than a “particular comment”. It was about many comments, threats and imagery that were and still are posted and allowed to remain on the volunteers site. It’s about the mindset and tactics used in working towards solving this problem. What I see and read there in regards to this is disgusting and anyone with any civility would likely agree, at least I hope so. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you haven’t spent much time perusing the comments and photos there and consider that the reason for your defensiveness and taking their side of it (What with all your “we” and “our”). Violent threats, name calling, sick photoshopping that trivializes the horrors of the nazis has no valid place in problem solving. I would even say it is quite counterproductive to reaching goals. When you do mommy duty, or work with others in your field of mental health, I surely hope you are sharing some of those peace keeping thoughts. Maybe try passing them on to your friends also. When I first posted about this I thought I was stating the obvious, but as I’ve already noted, I’ve learned a lot during this.

  28. Sounds like alot of political bull and pay offs going on here. PEOPLE, get your heads out of your butts and at least get your documentation and stories straight! Unfortunatly,money talks in a case like this and Memphis is the one that will die because of it. Memphis does not need to be rehabilited, the freakin idiots that are trying to railroad those that are trying to help this animal. I have lost faith in mankind when it comes to an animals life. I read this quote a long time ago and will quote it because I truly believe it after reading this article. ” I like my dog more than a human being.”

  29. Ok..why is this woman, Karen Lore, still talking in circles? Where is Memphis being “rehabilitated” and who is doing the rehab? Is this another Belfast where one person has made a very bad decision and taken it on herself to be judge and jury? Why such rhetoric and get down to the facts. Give the Coltenbacks Memphis and lets be done with all the shenanigans. It is quite apparent this Ms. Lore has huge complex and who is watching her? So many unanswered questions and so much room for speculation and a need for discovery. We are watching…we are paying attention. You state and I quote “Bloomfield gives it statement on Memphis, the pitbull.” This was not a statement that was made last night by the city council. Does the BOH speak for the city now? Lets get down to business! We don’t want any more round about wording, justice is what we all seek. You have lost volunteers, you have lost the many lives of pets, your city might lose a million dollars. When are you going to see something is rotten in your BOH?

  30. My, my Mr. Goldstein… Have I struck a nerve somewhere? If we all agree that our hard earned money and the shelter animals are the primary focus here, I’m not sure why you’re focusing on pictures and comments.
    Yes I have mommy duties and I have an actual occupation. So no, I do not have the time to peruse every comment on every thread on every page. I’m very happy that you have the time to do that. I would hope that you have taken action by alerting those responsible for maintaining the page. That is not my primary goal. That is an area that you and I differ.
    In terms of tactics, I don’t know what you mean. I’m fairly certain that former volunteers have better things to do than to make violent comments on their own support page. They seem far too busy spending their time still advocating for those helpless animals. Do you realize that people from all over the state, country, and world support their cause? That’s quite a number to keep track of. This leads me to believe that there is a personal issue that you must deal with on your own.
    I’m sure you will comment in rebuttal, you may have the last word. My points have been stated and I am content. Next?

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