The owner of a cat illegally killed by a New Jersey shelter has filed a federal lawsuit August 1 alleging animal cruelty and illegal euthanasia. A report made by the state say that between January and October 2015 hundreds of animals were killed by euthanasia without state guidelines being followed at Gloucester County Animal Shelter.
Stephanie Radlinger, the owner of an orange Tabby named Moe, and Stuart Goldman, a Monmouth County SPCA officer filed the lawsuit in Camden Court. According to New Jersey law found here, all animals must be held for seven days before any other options for the animal can be sought. Gloucester County Animal Shelter killed Moe for “aggression” within hours. He was microchipped and had an owner who loved him.
A state inspection report in 2015 revealed 312 cats, 71 dogs were killed illegally between January and October 2015. The lawsuit also accuses shelter staff was improperly trained, not administering enough of the drug, and not making sure an animal was dead after receiving it. That inspection report can be found here in the form of a Google Doc.
Listed in the lawsuit are Gloucester County, Gloucester County Animal Control officers, shelter director Bill Lombardi and assistant shelter manager Owen Sturm.
Stephanie stated on her Facebook page set up for Moe
“Things are now happening legally against the shelter finally…Thanks to everyone who supported #justiceformoe
In case your reading this for the first time, Moe was a microchipped cat, put down the same day he was taken in… My ex was contacted first, I didn’t get the voicemail from the chip company until hours later. He was threatened with neglect charges at the time and also told, for your ex to claim the cat it would be easier if your surrendered. He gave them my info (all of this is documented btw) and stated he wasn’t the owner but that I was. Not even an hour later he was euthanized. And I never received a call from this shelter. I called them after I got the voicemail and I jumped hoops for them filling out adoption forms, asking about Moes condition… No answers. Eventually, about an hour later, the supervisor calls me to tells me he’s been put down for aggressive behavior… This shelter easily ignored the 7 day holding period for animals taken in, but after looking into it more they not only killed my cat illegally but hundreds of others too.. And over 1000 of them were killed improperly… No sedation, not enough of the drug to kill them, and basically threw them in a freezer to my understanding before being confirmed dead is my understanding… #justiceformoe so that this NEVER happens again to a living creature. And please, share this, I didn’t know that these things actually happened until It happened to me.. To my moe.”
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You can follow this case on Moe’s Facebook page. This isn’t the first time a shelter has illegally euthanized a pet. Unfortunately, it won’t be the last.
The Courier-Post has several excellent articles that document the tragedy.