Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Saving Memphis

Jeff Coltenback and his wife Diana are long time residents of Bloomfield. They own and operate a local pet business, Paradise Pet, on West Passaic at Lindburgh, which I've patronized many times. They are also the founders of Pitty Rescue, Inc a 501(c)(3) non-profit animal rescue organization. Jeff is a highly respected animal behaviorist and this family truly has a passion and a love for this often mislabeled and misunderstood breed. Memphis belongs with the Coltenbacks. If you agree, please sign and share his friends' petition, The life of an amazing pitty boy may depend on it. Memphis' Story, in Jeff's words:
Help us get Memphis back! Memphis'abbreviated story (it's a really long one though): Memphis was picked up as stray in Feb 2012 and further restricted by shelter management after his initial 7-day hold was up. He was then deemed UN-adoptable by an evaluator in March (not by any judicial system). He has no bite history and, to my knowledge, has never injured anyone -- human or animal. His only crime; his breed. After learning about Memphis, I contacted the Township of Bloomfield Health Dept and offered my services to evaluate/train him. In order to gain permission to do so (which permitted me to train him only; I was prohibited from evaluating him), I signed a 5-page legal contract which also included holding me liable for Memphis and any expenses incurred on his behalf.
Part of my training with Memphis, like any dog I work with, included socialization. During this socialization training, he interacted with both adults and children -- all by permission. Due to this, the Township said I put the public in danger and ordered me to bring Memphis back to the shelter, which I did. My wife, Diana, and I then offered to adopt him permanently and sign a waiver relieving the Township of all liability. I submitted my adoption application to the Health Department, Mayor and Town Council, along with 12 Letters of Recommendation from professionals and rescue groups, here in the tri-state area. During his entire 8 days with us, Memphis never exhibited any behaviors that provided an opportunity for me to correct or modify his behavior. He has been around people, dogs, cats, rats and even parrots without incident. My wife and I had Memphis for one week, and fell madly in love with him -- he's just that kind of dog. Since he has been sent from our sofa back to the shelter, we cry for him every day. We eagerly await the Township's decision on whether or not they will allow us to adopt him. Memphis is truly a great dog who has a responsible, stable, experienced and loving forever home to go to -- ours. 
You can email letters of support for me to adopt Memphis to: 
health@bloomfieldtwpnj.com, mfitzpatrick@bloomfieldtwpnj.com klore@bloomfieldtwpnj.com rbrown@bloomfieldtwpnj.com njoanow@bloomfieldtwpnj.com, pdunigan@bloomfieldtwpnj.com, law@bloomfieldtwpnj.com brian@aloialawfirm.com, courts@bloomfieldtwpnj.com
We're more than a bit confused to hear that the BOH's Evaluator finished his/her work on Saturday, but will not discuss their findings until Thursday's BOH meeting. Meanwhile, Memphis sits alone in a cage. Why the delay? You can attend this month's Board of Health meeting where Jeff's case is on the agenda. It's being held on Thursday at 6:30 in the Squad Room of the Police Building Civic Center at 84 Broad St.


Mauigirl said...

Great post, Geoff. I agree, why can't they let us know now what the outcome was so we will be prepared with what we can say on Thursday. As usual, their secrecy is detrimental.

Patricia Gilleran said...

Bloomfield health board to discuss pit bull deemed 'unadoptable'
The venue has been changed- again- now it's at the civic center