A local humane society manager said last week that there is a sudden increase in animals being found dead in North Bergen.
Denton Infield of Newark’s Associated Humane Society, which is contracted to pick up animals from 30 area municipalities, said he has seen an influx of calls from the town of North Bergen to pick up dead and abandoned animals in the township. He said that in his seven years as manager of the shelter, this has never been an issue before.
“In a week, you pick up 24 dead animals in one town, it doesn’t make sense,” said Infield last week.
He said he could understand a squirrel killed by a vehicle, but that his agency has been called to retrieve dead dogs, cats, skunks, raccoons, sheep, and goats throughout North Bergen.
Infield said his agency has filed complaints with the New Jersey Department of Health to get to the bottom of the situation, but that at this time, no witnesses have come forward.
Richard Censullo, the Director of Health and Social Services for both North Bergen and Union City, confirmed last week that North Bergen was currently dealing with such a problem, but could not comment further because the North Bergen Health Department is currently investigating the issue.
Infield noted that sometimes, livestock like goats are found dead in the area because animal sacrifices are part of the Santeria religion, which is practiced in this area. However, the recent trend seems different, because the shelter has never received so many calls for dead dogs and cats, he said.
He said that because there have been no witnesses to the slayings, he has no more information.
Meanwhile, because of the economic decline, the shelter is also seeing more animals abandoned in the streets or dropped off for adoption. Such was the case last week in which a North Bergen resident called police because he discovered two abandoned dogs tied up near his street.
“You don’t do that to an animal; you don’t even do that to a human being,” North Bergen resident George Parisek told the Reporter, recounting how he called the police on April 2 after finding two dogs abandoned on Liberty Avenue.
Parisek said he had observed an individual walking the two dogs, a female pit bull and a male pit bull/shepherd mix, back and forth for two hours on Liberty Avenue. When he left his home and returned, the two dogs were tied to a nearby fence and left there for more than four hours, he said.
Parisek decided to call the North Bergen Police Department to pick up the animals.
He said that the pit bull was docile and appeared as if she had just given birth. When the police and neighbors approached the dogs to give them food and water, they did not appear to be abused, but simply abandoned, he said.
He said he hopes that someone comes forward to identify the individuals responsible for the animals.
The police notified the Associated Humane Society, who picked up the two dogs. (Most towns in Hudson County either contract with the Humane Society in Newark, or the Liberty Animal Shelter in Jersey City.)
“If only they could talk.” – Denton Infield
In good health
Infield, of the Humane Society, said that the two dogs, roughly around 2 years old, were in good health, with good coats and no signs of abuse.
“If only they could talk,” said Infield.
After examining the pit bull’s paws, Infield said that it appeared as though the dog had been running for some time and that it didn’t make sense to see the dog suddenly tied up to a fence.
He said that the pit bull has a friendly disposition, but that he was still observing the mixed-breed dog. He said that both of the animals were not friendly with other dogs.
Infield said that animals brought into the shelter become the shelter’s property within seven days. After that, Infield will decide if the dogs have any aggression problems that prevent them from finding a new home. Dogs that are aggressive will be humanely put down. Otherwise, they may be adopted.
Infield said that more people have been abandoning pets or bringing them to the shelter recently, probably because of the economic decline.
Tricia Tirella may be reached at TriciaT@hudsonreporter.com.