EAST HANOVER — Henry J. Ristuccia, President, Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter Board of Directors announced on Wednesday, September 23 that Executive Director Maureen Van Artsdalen has taken a leave of absence while the shelter’s board of directors works on engaging a third-party animal welfare expert to review shelter operations.
In recent weeks, a number of former employees and fosters have brought to light concerns regarding the welfare of the animals. For the past two weeks, friendly protests have been gathering around the Route 10 location. (Click here to view the article from September 19; Click here to view the article from September 26)
In a letter from Henry J. Ristuccia, he stated “The board of directors and management of Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter take our mission seriously. For almost 50 years, we have worked toward achieving our vision of a community with no abused, abandoned, neglected or homeless animals. We have never stopped providing exceptional care for every cat and dog that comes to us.”
In a phone interview with Ristuccia, he wouldn’t reveal, at this time, who the third party animal welfare expert is, but assured Morris Focus as soon as the report was complete that he would release the findings.
An OPRA (Open Public Records Act) issued by Morris Focus to the East Hanover Board of Health shows numerous recent satisfactory findings when inspections were conducted.