Gloucester County’s God Awful Animal Shelter

Gloucester County Animal Shelter reports some of the highest kill rates and body counts every year. In 2014, 31% of dogs and and 76% of cats were killed, died, went missing or were unaccounted for. Furthermore, 52% of dogs not reclaimed by their owners lost their lives at Gloucester County Animal Shelter in 2014. In total, 366 dogs and 2,017 cats were killed, died, went missing or were unaccounted for at Gloucester County Animal Shelter last year. To put it another way, 7 dogs and cats lose their lives at Gloucester County Animal Shelter on average each day of the year at this so-called shelter. Thus, Gloucester County Animal Shelter operates more like a death camp than an animal shelter.

Regressive kill shelter defenders often claim these facilities only kill out of necessity and provide humane and loving care to the animals. For example, PETA wrote an article on how no kill shelters are cruel and kill shelters are humane. One key excerpt was as follows:

Not all animal shelters are the same. Fortunate homeless and unwanted animals end up in the hundreds of open-admission animal shelters that are staffed by professional, caring people.

At these facilities, frightened animals are reassured, sick and injured animals receive treatment or a peaceful end to their suffering, and the animals’ living quarters are kept clean and dry. Workers at these facilities never turn away needy animals and give careful consideration to each animal’s special emotional and physical needs.

Gloucester County Animal Shelter made headlines in October after illegally killing an owned cat. On September 30, 2015, Gloucester County Animal Shelter impounded a stray cat named Moe. According to news stories, the owner’s ex-fiance’s contact information was with the microchip company and he went went to the shelter the next day. Despite this person not owning the cat, the shelter ordered him to take the cat back, surrender the animal to the facility or face neglect charges. Ultimately, he surrendered Moe to the shelter thinking it would be easier for his ex-fiance to get her cat back. After Moe’s owner found out that Moe was at the shelter later that day, she was told she had to pay $85 to adopt her own cat back. However, the owner found out that Gloucester County Animal Shelter killed Moe earlier that day for aggression. Under New Jersey law, shelters cannot kill any stray or owner surrendered animal prior to a 7 day hold period. As a result of this travesty, a Justice for Moe movement started.

At the time, a Gloucester County spokeswoman stated Moe’s death was a “sensitive subject”, but did not admit the shelter broke the law. However, this spokeswoman stated the shelter would review its procedures.

The New Jersey Department of Health (“NJ DOH”) conducted a five hour inspection three weeks after Moe arrived at Gloucester County Animal Shelter. You can read the full inspection report at this link.

Was Gloucester County Animal Shelter’s illegal killing of Moe an aberration? Is Gloucester County Animal Shelter complying with all New Jersey animal shelter laws?

Does Gloucester County Animal Shelter provide humane care to animals and a “peaceful end” to their life as PETA argues kill shelters do?

Gloucester County Animal Shelter Allows Disease to Spread Like Wildfire

The NJ DOH inspector found the shelter placed cats “one after another” inside the same enclosure without disinfecting the cage while the permanent cat housing areas were cleaned. As a result, the shelter exposed each cat to serious diseases.

1.6 (d) Repeat Deficiency- Animals shall not be placed in empty primary enclosures previously inhabited by other animals unless the enclosure has first been cleaned and disinfected.

Cats at the facility were housed in various rooms. All the cats in these rooms, other than the cats housed in the “feral” cat room, were each placed inside the same enclosure, one after the other, during the daily cleaning process. This enclosure was not cleaned and disinfected between inhabitants as required and, therefore, each cat was potentially exposed to infectious agents of every other cat housed within that room. During the cleaning process in the cat isolation room, the inspector witnessed one of the cats being removed from a holding enclosure and carried back to its primary enclosure; another cat was removed from its primary enclosure, carried over to the same holding enclosure and placed inside. When questioned, the cleaning attended confirmed that the holding enclosure is not cleaned or disinfected at any time between animals during the cleaning process.

During this cleaning process, the shelter failed to apply disinfectant solutions long enough and in the proper concentration to prevent the spread of deadly diseases, such as rabies and the canine parvovirus.

1.8 (c) Cages, floors, and hard surfaced pens or runs shall be disinfected at least once per day by washing all soiled surfaces with a detergent solution followed by a safe and effective disinfectant.

Animal enclosures were not being sufficiently disinfected at least once daily as required. The disinfectant used at the facility was not being used as instructed on the manufacture’s product label and manufacturer’s website for animal contact surfaces and the disinfecting solution was not being applied to surfaces for the required contact time. Surfaces are required to be cleaned with a detergent and rinsed to remove excess contaminants, and then the disinfectant is required to be applied to surfaces and allowed to remain wet for a 10 minute contact time. When questioned, the cleaning attendant stated that the product is not applied to surfaces for the required 10 minute contact time because they are short staffed and they do not have time to allow for the full contact time.

All animal contact surfaces are required to be mechanically scrubbed to remove greasy residue and organic matter and wiped or rinsed, taking care to avoid redepositing of soil. The product is required to be used at 4 ounces per gallon of water and applied to pre-cleaned surfaces with a 10 minute contact time on hard, nonporous surfaces to be effective against canine parvovirus and rabies virus in accordance with the manufacturer’s website. The product was being used at one ounce per gallon at the time of this inspection, which would be effective against some bacteria and viruses after a 10 minute contact time, but is not effective against canine parvovirus and rabies virus.

The inspection report also noted feeding dishpans were not correctly disinfected and air from the isolation area with sick animals potentially mixed with air in locations with healthy animals.

When animals inevitably became ill, shelter staff failed to provide treatment and isolate the sick animals from healthy ones. Apparently, a “lethargic” animal suffering with “thick purulent nasal discharge” that is “lying with its face on the bottom of the enclosure” and is “reluctant to fully open its eyes” doesn’t warrant treatment at Gloucester County Animal Shelter.

1.6 (e) Animals showing signs of contagious illness shall be removed from rooms and enclosures containing healthy animals and housed in a separate isolation room, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:23A-1.9 (b) through (f).

A kitten housed in the “feral” cat room and located in the same cage with another kitten, was showing signs of contagious illness, which included a thick purulent nasal discharge, lethargy, lying with its face on the bottom of the enclosure, and reluctance to fully open its eyes. This cat was not removed from its enclosure as required and housed in the isolation room at the time of this inspection.

To make matters worse, the NJ DOH inspector noted shelter staff had just cleaned this sick and suffering kitten’s enclosure and left the animal alongside a healthy kitten without contacting a veterinarian or vet tech.

1.9 (d) Repeat Deficiency- Each animal shall be observed daily by the animal caretaker in charge, or by someone under his or her direct supervision for clinical signs of communicable disease or stress. 1. Sick, diseased, injured or lame animals shall be provided with at least prompt, basic veterinary care.

The kitten described under section 1.6 was not provided with at least prompt, basic veterinary care at the time of this inspection. This kitten’s enclosure had been cleaned prior to the inspector entering this room. The person that cleaned the enclosure placed the kitten back into the same enclosure with the healthy kitten and there was no indication at the time of this inspection that the clinical signs this kitten was displaying were reported to or observed by the animal caretaker in charge, or by someone under his or her direct supervision.

The NJ DOH inspector also reported the supervising veterinarian did not establish a disease control and health care program as required by state law. In fact, the supervising veterinarian “had not visited the facility for quite some time.” Furthermore, the shelter appeared to provide prescription medicine to animals without a veterinarian observing animals and prescribing these drugs.

1.9 (a) Repeat Deficiency- Facilities shall establish and maintain a program of disease control and adequate health care (program) under the supervision and assistance of a doctor of veterinary medicine.

The facility had a VPH-20, Certification of Veterinary Supervision form posted at the facility, but there was no evidence provided at the time of this inspection that indicated that the supervising veterinarian had visited the facility and established a disease control and adequate health care program as required. The facility had a large stock of assorted medications and other pharmaceutical agents that were not licensed for over-the-counter use and that did not contain prescription labels or other written prescribed instructions established by and under the supervision of the supervising veterinarian.

The inspector was told at the time of this inspection that the veterinarian had not visited the facility for quite some time and the veterinarian had not established a written disease control and health care program. The inspector was told that animals in need of veterinary care were routinely transported to the supervising veterinarian’s office or to other veterinary establishments when the supervising veterinarian’s office was closed. The veterinarian was said to provide consultation over the phone at times, but some animals were administered prescription medications without an examination by a licensed veterinarian or a consultation and written instructions from the supervising veterinarian as required.

There were no written directives available from the supervising veterinarian including, but not limited to, proper cleaning and disinfection protocols; animal isolation procedures; procedures for the appropriate care of animals displaying signs of illness, injury, disease or stress; and protocols to prevent the transmission of disease throughout the facility, including disease transmission through fomite contamination by animal handlers and caretakers as observed at the time of this inspection. There were also no written and established feeding protocols for the animals at the facility established by the supervising veterinarian.

Gloucester County Animal Shelter Illegally Slaughters Animals Like a Serial Killer

The NJ DOH inspector confirmed that Gloucester County Animal Shelter illegally killed Moe via an intraperitoneal injection. Furthermore, the inspector found Gloucester County Animal Shelter illegally killed 384 animals prior to the 7 day hold period during the first 9 or so months of 2015. Thus, Moe’s illegal killing was not an aberration, it was normal operating procedure.

1.10 (a)1. Impounded animals must be kept alive for seven days to give opportunity for rabies disease surveillance and opportunity for owners to reclaim. (N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.16 d, e, and f.)

A stray cat that had been impounded at the facility on September 30, 2015 at 5:20 PM was euthanized the following morning on October 1, 2015 at 11:00 AM by intraperitoneal injection. Documents indicated that this cat was euthanized due to “behavioral issues.” This cat had a microchip that was registered to a previous owner, but documents show that the name and contact phone number for the current owner was provided to the facility. The current owner was not given the opportunity to reclaim the cat.

Disposition records received at the New Jersey Department of Health indicated that 312 cats and 71 dogs and one domestic rabbit were euthanized before the required seven day holding period between January 2, 2015 and October 9, 2015.

Furthermore, the inspector noted Gloucester County Animal Shelter had to keep Moe alive for at least 7 days after the shelter found out who Moe’s actual owner was on October 1.

N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.32-c. If either scan required reveals information concerning the owner of the cat or dog, the shelter or pound shall immediately seek to contact and notify the owner of the whereabouts of the cat or dog. Furthermore, if microchip identification is found, the shelter, pound shall hold the animal for at least seven days after notification to the owner.

A stray cat that was impounded at the facility on September 30, 2015 was scanned for a microchip and the person listed in the microchip database was contacted. The person listed in the database notified the facility that he was not the current owner of the cat and he was able to provide the contact information for the current owner. The cat was euthanized the following day and the current owner, whose name and phone number were written on the animal’s record, was not afforded the opportunity to reclaim her cat. The cat was not held for at least seven days after the facility was supplied with the current owner’s contact information.

The inspection report also stated Gloucester County Animal Shelter routinely broke New Jersey laws for failing to scan animals for microchips upon intake and prior to killing, adopting or transferring animals.

N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.32-a. When a cat or dog is put in the custody of and impounded with a shelter or pound, the shelter or pound shall scan the animal for microchip identification.

Records available at the time of this inspection showed that many animals were not being scanned for a microchip on intake to the facility. There were a total of 38 cats that were held in the feral cat room at the time of this inspection, but only 6 of these cats had been scanned for a microchip upon intake into the facility. There were 18 cats housed in the isolation room at the time of this inspection, but records indicated that 7 of these cats had not been scanned for a microchip upon intake to the facility. There were additional animals throughout the facility, including two dogs and a main coon type cat that had not been scanned upon intake.

N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.32-b. Prior to release of any cat or dog for adoption, transfer to another facility or foster home, or euthanasia of the cat or dog, the shelter or pound shall scan the cat or dog for microchip identification.

The inspector was told that animals were not being scanned for a microchip before being euthanized at the facility. There were no documents available at the facility that showed that animals had been scanned again prior to release, transfer, or euthanasia as required.

Gloucester County Animal Shelter Illegally and Cruelly Kills Animals

Gloucester County Animal Shelter illegally used intraperitoneal injections of Fatal Plus to kill cats. Per New Jersey law, shelters can only use intraperitoneal injections on comatose animals and neonatal kittens. Under this method, animals are injected in the abdominal cavity and can take up to 30 minutes to die. Sadly, Moe needlessly lost his life from this barbaric killing method.

1.11 (c) The acceptable methods of euthanasia include the following: 1. The primary recommended method is an intravenous injection of a barbiturate; however, an intraperitoneal or intracardiac injection may be made where intravenous injection is impractical, as in the very small animal, or in the comatose animal with depressed vascular function.

Cats and kittens were not euthanized by intravenous injection as required. Documents indicated and the inspector was told at the time of this inspection that the primary method of euthanasia for cats at the facility was an intraperitoneal injection of sodium pentobarbital. All cats and kittens were euthanized by this method, including healthy adult cats and larger kittens over 4 weeks of age rather than cats that were comatose and had depressed vascular function or very small neonate kittens where intravenous injection may be impractical. Intraperitoneal and intracardiac injections are not to be used as the primary method of euthanasia for animals at the facility and these methods of euthanasia are only acceptable with documented justification.

To make matters worse, Gloucester County Animal Shelter did not weigh animals prior to administering pre-killing sedatives and Fatal Plus poison. 87 cats and kittens were given low dosages of Fatal Plus and no dosage records existed for 1,204 other cats and kittens killed during the year. As a result, animals may have experienced great pain due to receiving incorrect dosages of these drugs.

1.11 (f) 3. Weigh all animals prior to administration of euthanasia, immobilizing, or tranquilizing agents.

The inspector was told that animals were not weighed prior to administration of euthanasia, immobilizing, or tranquilizing agents and that all cats received one milliliter (ml) of euthanasia solution and all kittens received .5 ml of solution. One of the euthanasia technicians stated that if a cat looks big, they would give a little more.

The label instructions on the bottle of Fatal Plus euthanasia solution stated that the required volume of solution is 1 ml per 10 lbs. of body weight and intravenous injection is preferred. The calculated dosage should be given in a single injection. Intraperitoneal or intracardiac injection may be made when intravenous injection is impractical, as in very small or comatose animals with impaired vascular functions. Since animals were not weighed before administration of euthanasia and tranquilizing agents, the dosages for these agents were not calculated as required for each individual animal.

A review of euthanasia log records received at the New Jersey Department of Health confirmed that most adult cats were given 1 ml of Fatal Plus euthanasia solution regardless of their actual weight, and kittens were given .5 ml without determining their weight before the administration of euthanasia solution. The euthanasia logs show that 1291 cats and kittens were euthanized between January 3, 2015 and October 20, 2015. Eighty of these cats were given more than 1 ml of euthanasia solution and 7 kittens were given .3 ml rather than .5 ml. There were no documents available to indicate that rabbits, ferrets, a pig, and various other domestic and wildlife species were weighed prior to the administration of euthanasia, immobilizing, or tranquilizing agents. There were no documents available to determine if the 1204 cats and kittens that were administered 1 ml or .5 ml sodium pentobarbital, as well as the additional animals that were not weighed prior to administration of euthanasia solution, were give a sufficient dosage as indicated on the product label to produce humane euthanasia as quickly and painlessly as possible in these animals.

Even more frightening, the shelter had no records indicating anyone confirmed animals were actually dead after the killing. In a worst case scenario, animals receiving dosages that were too low may have been still alive when disposed of.

Note: There were no documents available at the facility to indicate that each animal was being assessed after the administration of euthanasia agents as required to ensure that the animal was deceased prior to disposal. There were no instructions posted in the euthanasia area indicating the procedures for animal assessment after the animals were euthanized. During the inspection, there was a concern that section 1.11 (g) may not have been followed; therefore it is recommended that records be amended to include this information. The requirements for the section are as follows:

1.11 (g) After the administration of euthanasia agents to an animal, the person administering euthanasia shall assess each animal for the absence of a heartbeat by auscultation of the heart utilizing a stethoscope, establishment of the absence of a pulse and respiration, the absence of movement of the eyelid when the cornea is touched (corneal reflex) and checking for presence of maximum dilation of the pupils of the eyes. 1. The person administering euthanasia shall perform these assessments in combination at least 5 minutes apart until the person can definitively determine that the heart is no longer beating, to ensure that the animal is deceased prior to disposal.

High Kill Shelters View Animals as Trash

Animal extermination operations like Gloucester County Animal Shelter place little value on the lives of animals. After all, when you kill most of your animals, and nearly all of your cats, that seems like the logical view to take. If you are going to kill an animal in a week anyway, not treating a medical illness or taking the creature to a veterinarian doesn’t seem like a big deal. Sadly, organizations like PETA ignore countless examples of cruel operations like Gloucester County Animal Shelter and instead vilify even well-run no kill shelters. Unfortunately, PETA believes pets should not exist and their silence in these situations indicates killing pets by any means necessary is worth the cost to achieve their nefarious goal.

New Jersey Department of Health and the NJ SPCA Must Severely Punish Gloucester County Animal Shelter and Local Health Inspectors

Gloucester County Animal Shelter’s problems go far beyond minor code infractions. Frankly, the wholesale and institutionalized cruelty mandates the NJ SPCA focus on this case. Simply put, the consequences of inaction mean thousands of other animals each year will experience the same level of cruelty unless the NJ SPCA takes serious and drastic action, particularly against Shelter Director, Bill Lombardi. Sadly, the NJ SPCA’s record in pressing charges and winning cases against abusive shelters is poor.

The New Jersey Department of Health should fine Gloucester County Animal Shelter the maximum $50 fine for each infraction, including separate fines for each animal. Additionally, the New Jersey Department of Health should reinspect the shelter every month and assess new fines for each shelter law violation not corrected. Gloucester County officials must face a steep monetary penalty for allowing these blatant law-breaking activities to go on. Furthermore, the New Jersey Department of Health should recommend that the New Jersey Public Health Licensing and Examination Board revoke the local Health Officer’s license and take any other necessary disciplinary action. Simply put, the local health department allowed the shelter to operate in this illegal manner for years and needs to face serious consequences for its inaction.

Gloucester County Freeholders Must Respond to Local Shelter Reform Activists

Based on my conversation with a local activist, the shelter has ignored reformers for years. These dedicated people tried hard to work with the shelter, but were rebuffed countless times. Poor policies, such as aggressively cracking down on people practicing TNR and not adopting animals out at the shelter during weekends, leads to killing. Clearly, Gloucester County officials must fire Shelter Director, Bill Lombardi, and much of the staff and replace them with compassionate and competent people.

The shelter only takes in 13 dogs and cats per 1,000 people in Gloucester County, which is below the national average. In fact, animal control shelters take in far more animals in total and per capita and achieve no kill level live release rates. For example, the Reno, Nevada area’s open admission shelter takes in around 15,000 animals a year or around 36 dogs and cats per 1,000 people, and still saves 90% or more of these animals year after year. Clearly, we can shelter animals far better than what Gloucester County Animal Shelter is doing. People should contact Gloucester County Freeholders Robert Damminger and Daniel Christy and demand Gloucester County run a no kill shelter. It is time Gloucester County elected officials take this horrific situation and turn it into something positive.

34 thoughts on “Gloucester County’s God Awful Animal Shelter

  1. I told a newspaper 15 years ago that I did a college project on them and I interviewed people there. I told them strange things are going on there, for example, donated money goes into a county find not toward the animals. I told them someone needs to investigate them and I was ignored. How many pets and families have been through there since? I know one woman, her mother accidentally surrendered her cat. It hadn’t even been three whole days they had put the cat to sleep. They don’t hold animals for the required time. It is long overdue to expose them.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, you are wrong. New Jersey revised its state laws several years ago requiring shelters to NOT kill any owner surrendered animal for 7 full days. From a recent New Jersey Department of Health memo sent to local health departments:

        “The NJDOH is aware that some licensed animal shelters and impoundment facilities (pounds) have euthanized impounded and surrendered dogs and cats prior to the required 7 day holding period.

        Pursuant to State law (N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.16 a. through l.) all municipalities must have a licensed animal impoundment facility (pound) designated where stray and potentially vicious animals can be safely impounded. Impounded stray animals shall be held at the pound for at least seven days (i.e., 168 hours) from the time impounded before the animal is offered for adoption or euthanized, relocated or sterilized, regardless of the animal’s temperament or medical condition. Dogs impounded under the vicious dog statutes (N.J.S.A. 4:19-19 through 36) shall remain impounded until the final disposition as to whether the dog is declared vicious or potentially dangerous by the municipal court, regardless of their temperament or medical condition.

        All animals housed in a shelter or pound shall receive at least prompt basic veterinary care, under the supervision and guidance of the supervising veterinarian, while they are held at the facility. Animal control officers capturing stray animals shall assess them for illness or injury and arrange for prompt medical care for ill and injured animals.

        Animals that are voluntarily surrendered by their owners to licensed pounds or shelters shall be offered for adoption for at least seven days prior to euthanasia or shelter/pound management may transfer the animal to an animal rescue organization facility or a foster home prior to offering it for adoption if such a transfer is determined to be in the best interest of the animal.

        Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.32 a. through c., all impounded and surrendered animals shall be scanned for the presence of a microchip both upon being taken into custody at the facility and prior to euthanasia, release for adoption, or transfer to another facility or foster home. If either scan reveals information concerning the owner of the cat or dog, the facility staff shall immediately contact the owner and notify them that the dog or cat is available for them to reclaim. The animal shall then be held for at least 7 days after owner notification.

        Health Officers are requested to share this notice with all managers of shelters and pounds and all animal control officers within their jurisdiction. Health Officers shall ensure that impounded stray and surrendered dogs and cats, as well as all potentially dangerous dogs, are properly impounded as required by State statutes.

        It is recommended that animal pound and shelter managers have a copy of the laws and regulations applicable to animal facilities available on site.”


      • Impounding an animal is different from a surrended animal which is defferent from a stray and surrendered is only 3 days. Impounded and stray is 7 so your still wrong. Sorry every shelter in NJ isn’t breaking the law. Learn the definitions first


      • No, you are dead wrong. Reread the interpretive guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health:

        “Animals that are voluntarily surrendered by their owners to licensed pounds or shelters shall be offered for adoption for at least seven days prior to euthanasia or shelter/pound management may transfer the animal to an animal rescue organization facility or a foster home prior to offering it for adoption if such a transfer is determined to be in the best interest of the animal.”

        And yes, MANY animal shelters are breaking the law. That is one of the reasons I had to create this blog.


      • Actually Sarah, you are the one that needs to get your facts straight. Any animal, whether picked up as a stray or surrendered is required by New Jersey Law 8:23A to be held for 7 days. A surrendered animal can be adopted before the 7 days hold, but can NOT be euthanized before 7 days. Furthermore, any animal that has bitten anyone, cat or dog, has to be held for 10 days before it can be adopted or euthanized. Strays have to be held for 7 days before the can be adopted to give the owner time to find their cat. So I would believe that the YOU are the one that needs to get your facts straight. Seems that before you go making such a statement you should actually look up the law. So here’s a fact for you, YOU obviously are clueless. I certainly hope you don’t work at some shelter somewhere or with animals because you are clearly misinformed or uneducated on the current shelter laws. In either case, I certainly hope you don’t work with animals.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s no excuse for the cruelty inflicted on these poor animals. The staff and all supervisor personnel should be immediately dismissed and subjected to further criminal charges. I am appalled that this travesty could take place for years in plain view and all the people complicit in this vile situation should be persequeted to the full extent of the law with as much mercy shown to them as they showed those innocent animals.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This shelter sucks. I have a simese cat that has always run. I have been there many times. You have to actually go there every 3 days looking to find an animal. Calling there doesn’t count. The last time, about 2 months ago, I was in the back looking in cages for him and was heartbroken by all the cats trapped in their cages. I asked the worker who was escorting me how she could stand it, how could she not want to rescue them all. SHE TOLD ME SHE WAS NOT A CAT PERSON. WTH.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. this is horrendous. It’s bad enough that these poor animals ended up here, but then to be “euthanized” in this manner is horrific. Please do something about this facility asap; these animals did not choose their lives and are victims of circumstance. Please, please help them!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Disgusting. Bill Lombardi and the other shelter “caretakers” should be put in one of those cages and tortured like they do to the animals. This place needs to be shut down so true animal lovers can care for the pets instead.


    • My father, Bill Lombardi, does NOT deserve to be tortured and put in a cage Jessica! He has dedicated his life to this shelter. We grew up with countless pets from the shelter and he treats them like their his kids. He has educated us on how to be a responsible pet owner, to adopt an animal and not buy one because it is saving just one more life. He loves animals and has never mistreated any. You don’t know my dad so please don’t make comments like that. This article is embellished and inaccurate. People will believe anything. IT IS PATHETIC! How come there are no statistics on how many lives they have saved, or does no one care about that! They are careful with who they adopt to because they want these animals to go good homes and not end up back in a cage or worse. Just remember these animals wouldn’t be at a shelter if humans did the right thing like spay and neuter their pets, keeping their cats indoors and their dogs in fenced in yards. How about the scumbags that wake up one day and just decide they don’t want their pet or they have to move where there are no pets allowed or their kid is allergic or the vet tells them their pet has cancer so it gets dumped at the shelter. Those people you should be angry with, not Bill Lombardi.


      • While I can understand your desire to defend your father, your bias is clouding your judgment. Whether your father taught you to love animals or not is irrelevant, the abuse and killing at his shelter is all that matters. This blog quotes the exact sections of the New Jersey Department of Health inspection report. Frankly, your father and other responsible parties should go to jail. Bill Lombardi “loves animals” so much that his shelter does the following:

        1) Don’t treat sick animals
        2) Keep sick animals with health animals so disease spreads
        3) Don’t have a a disease control program designed by the supervising veterinarian
        4) Don’t properly clean animal enclosures
        5) Routinely kill animals prior to their legally mandated 7 day hold period
        6) Don’t scan animals for microchips
        7) Illegally kill animals using a method that can take up to 30 minutes to kill
        8) Don’t weigh animals prior to killing or confirm such animals are dead after so the shelter can discard live animals in the trash or into an incinerator
        9) Kill more than 3/4 of all cats and more than half of dogs not reclaimed by owners
        10) Allowed past shelter law violations to persist for more than 6 years

        Every shelter deals with irresponsible people. That is what they get paid to do. In fact, your father makes $88,208 or more than twice as much as the average resident in the county. Also, he earns a handsome pension that he should lose.

        Gloucester County Animal Shelter takes fewer than the average number of animals than the average animal control shelter. In addition, it takes far fewer animals in total and on a per capita basis than many no kill animal control shelters. Since 2006, Gloucester County Animal Shelter killed 32,587 dogs and cats. Last year, more than half of dogs not reclaimed by their owners and more than 3/4 of all cats didn’t make it out of the facility alive. That is Bill Lombardi fault for not following the no kill equation and other progressive animal sheltering policies.

        Not allowing adoptions at the shelter and needlessly denying people who would offer good homes are just some examples of poor policies.

        Bottom line is there is no excuse for Bill Lombardi’s actions and he must be fired and sent to jail.


      • Your father apparently can’t follow the law and since he has been doing this for so long he should know what the law is. The proof is in the state report ans your father runs a horrific, deplorable shelter with one of the highest kill rates in the state. If that is what he taught you is responsible pet owning then I really feel sorry for any pet brought into the car of yourself,or any sivlings you have. He probably should be less concerned with Who,is adopting these animals as quite frankly I can’t see them,going to any worse of a situation then the one the are currently in at YOUR FATHERS GLOUCESTER COUNTY. SHELTER. Quite frankly if this was my father I certainly wouldn’t be directing my anger at the people in the animal world who are appalled at your father actions, but rather at your father who is too inept to perform his job. God help the animals under your father’s care. Your father should lose his job ans he should be charged with multiple counts of animal abuse. Shame on you for being part of the problem and not part of the solution


      • What nonsense. If Mr. Lombardi has “dedicated his life to the shelter,” then he has worked for and been paid to support the current situation.

        Its amazing that anyone (even yourself, as his daughter) would undertake to defend him or the people who (at taxpayer expense) treat animals in the way that they have.

        The ultimate responsibility for this horror lies with the taxpayers themselves, who must force change on the system.


      • No !!! I know you are trying to defend your father because he is in charge …. Why , when I was adopting my Carmel I was told by the Volunteer that she is not the right cat to adopt ???? Yes she has issues because somebody else abused her before we adopted her . My Husband and I deal with that she backs off a little bit when you go to pet her , other then that I’m happy that we saved her . Also to go with this topic . My father try to adopt a dog , and never received a call back from the Gloucester County Animal Shelter or a answer on why he was not approved on a adopting a dog . My QUESTION IS WHY WHEN SOMEONE IS TRYING TO GIVING A ANIMAL A GOOD HOME THEY HAVE TO GO THROUGH LEAPS AND BOUNDS TO ADOPT FROM THIS ANIMAL SHELTER ???????????? OH !!! You should thank me that this animal shelter also get Donations from where I work ….


  6. I have had my own problems with this terrible terrible shelter. Not to mention after they made me pay to adopt MY OWN cat back and fighting 3 months to get her back she came back and after a week I noticed something wrong with her paw, I Did everything I could before calling the shelter. When I did call the shelter they said she was not their problem and that I would have to fix what they had did to her. She was only a yr old when she was taken from me by a family friend who claimed she worked at the shelter, when in fact she was just a volunteer. Her name is Karen Grilli volunteer for Gloucester County Animal Shelter. She had offered to do me a favor as she “worked” there and would have my cat fixed and brought back to me in a few days. I waited 5 days and finally called Karen Grillo and the shelter. The woman Karen ignored all of my calls and the shelter had no knowledge of my cat coming in with two other cats to get spayed. I lost my mind! When they finally “found her” I was told she was not my cat and she was brought there by a volunteer who surrendered them as stray cats. I gave her 3 of my cats to help and she didn’t. I was only fortunate enough to get my one cat back and refused to let me see or know what happened to my other two cats. So after 3 months of fighting and emailing the board I finally got ONE of THREE of my cats back And my cat came back with such a bad infection or break they are telling me she needs her front arm amputated. I believe they are 10000% responsible for her pain and suffering. And will be taking them to court. All of this stuff occurred between 2014-2015 yr.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am sending this on to the radio station the you frequent and claim to help animals! Mayb they’ll stop advertising for you and something will be done about this travesty!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am So sorry for some of these situations. Now I know WHY my Vet office is No longer affiliated. (I think the MO situation put them over the edge) THIS Story should have been in our Local Newspaper!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yep, mine barely escaped the gas chamber there- was even told my cat wasn’t there for 6 hours – called them frantically 3 times- filed the stupid reports for my lost cat, kept being told no cat was brought in from my area or fit the description – yep, he was there the whole
    Time. IN THE FERAL CAT section, awaiting his doom/ I Hate this shelter with all that I am.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I went there many years ago and the older lady was the nastiest person I have ever dealt with. My parents had lost their dog and I was looking for a new companion. I didn’t even get to fill out a form because she was so against anyone adopting. I left so confused. Since then my family has adopted multiple animals from other shealters and have some amazing pets. This place is horrible. These poor animals ( babies)!!


  11. This is not an unusual situation at all. Many shelters across the US are similar and many are even worse. It is also a mistake to ever interpret that employees at any shelter (whether municipal or privately run) care about or are even interested in animals at all. Being angry about this does not change anything. Taxpayers in the state must demand change.


  12. Thank you for this great web site and for shedding light on these horrors.

    Here’s an article on the shelter:

    Unbelievable that they get away with this using tax payer funds. They are a government facility and are not excepted from following state law. Funding needs to be frozen immediately until they are fully compliant with the law and Lombardi needs to be tossed out on his fat ass if not brought up on criminal charges.

    Aside from sharing this site, any suggestions on what the public can do to rally against this place?

    @Sarah: what kind of low life scum trolls on behalf of euthanizing animals? You must work at the shelter or just be so demented that killing animals fulfills your shallow personality.


  13. So what happens, according to the law, to this shelter now? Numerous infractions are cited during the inspection by NJ State. Does the shelter get warned, fined, reinspected in one or two weeks? What is the consequences for flagrantly disregarding the law?

    Are animal shelters required to have and display a “satisfactory certification” issued by the state after an inspection, (similar to restaurants)?

    It seems as if the state’s inspection gives credence to the public’s outcry, and the surprise inspection is to be commented. But, if there are no consequences to the blatant disregard of law, isn’t the shelter given carte blanche to continue their current torturous behavior?

    I know I am missing something because this makes no sense. DYFS removes children from an abusive situation, nursing homes are forced to comply with laws that protect the elderly, and restaurants are closed down if they don’t clean up their act following a failed inspection. There are consequences for individuals abusing an animal, but not for a shelter doing it repeatingly on a massive scale?

    Please help me to understand because I am shocked and appalled and obviously missing the key ingredient called consequences.

    Thank you for your voice protecting our animals, our pets, our family members who have no voice of their own.


    • Julie,

      Thank you for asking some important questions. Sadly, New Jersey relies on inept local health departments to inspect shelters and provide a certificate that the shelter complies with state law. In East Orange’s case, that means the shelter inspects itself since the East Orange Health Department runs the shelter. You can read more about this terrible system in this blog:

      The New Jersey Department of Health, which has a single inspector, typically only inspects facilities when many people complain. In the past, the New Jersey Department of Health was criticized for not taking serious actions after their inspections. However, they did force the Linden Animal Control shelter to close down in 2014 due to massive state shelter law violations. The New Jersey Department of Health subsequently levied $4,000 in fines against East Orange due to the shelter’s failure to comply with state law. Additionally, the NJ SPCA charged the Health Officer in East Orange with animal cruelty relating to another inspection in 2015.


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