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State cites Somerset County Humane Society following inspection

July 11, 2018

The Somerset County Humane Society has been fined $330.50 for two nontraffic citations issued Thursday by the state Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement for “unsatisfactory” sanitation and maintenance.

The citations were written by state Dog Wardens Ronald Allison and Beth Newman after an unannounced inspection of the facility on June 6 and a follow-up inspection Thursday that “was still unsatisfactory,” according to William Nichols, spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture. The bureau is part of the department.

“We received a complaint that prompted an unannounced inspection,” he said.

During the inspection, wardens observed chewed igloos/dog houses in many of the enclosures, rusted metal pipes along the bottom rails of dog kennels and chewed dog doors, all leaving sharp edges, according to the kennel inspection report.

“Wardens observed large holes in side of building and inside of food storage area where vermin enter/exit,” the report states. “Also observed large amounts of rat/mouse feces in food storage area, large holes in numerous bags of food & dog food on floor.”

The wardens advised the kennel director to keep the building and grounds clean and in good repair to protect the animals from injury. They also cited the need for an effective program to keep insects, parasites and other pests off the property. Signs of infestation are “indicative of an ineffective program and unsanitary environmental sanitation in the kennel,” the report states.

The citations were written against Sally Urban, not the humane society itself. Urban is the principal officer of the nonprofit organization.

“The ultimate responsibility for the conditions of the shelter fell to Ms. Urban as president of the humane society,” he wrote in an email.

In response to the citations, Urban said, “As always we are working diligently to comply with all state regulations.”

The kennel will be inspected again, Nichols said.

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