In response to a recent State Commission Investigation report claiming that the New Jersey SPCA is failing to consistently respond to animal cruelty laws, state lawmakers are considering some changes.
At a legislative hearing Brian Hackett, the state director of the Human Society of the United States, said many of the officers in the SPCA that enforce animal cruelty laws serve on a voluntary basis with virtually no funding.
“I think there would be taxpayers with pitchforks the steps of the Statehouse if we treated any other law enforcement issue the way we treat humane law enforcement in the state of New Jersey. The lack of funding, the lack of uniformity.”
New Jersey SPCA president Steve Shatkin defended his group.
“It is not a haven for wanna-be cops. It’s it not an organization that lost sight of its core function. Nor is it an agency that should be disbanded of striped of the authority granted and reaffirmed by this legislature.”
Senator Ray Lesniak says the SPCA is not adequately enforcing animal cruelty laws.
“I think the county prosecutor has to be more actively involved in overseeing these operations because law enforcement belongs in a law enforcement agency, not in a private agency.”
Lesniak says he hopes to have legislation to do that drafted by next week.