After last Wednesday's rally for the Trenton Animal Shelter, did anything there change for the better? A few dozen animal advocates, led by longtime volunteers at the shelter – which they say is understaffed and in deplorable condition – had marched and chanted in front of City Hall at noon.
Demonstrators spoke of the need to fill vacancies for animal control officers (ACOs) at the shelter and the growing need for volunteers to do some of the work that paid employees would ordinarily do. They cited animals without water and dirty litter boxes.
In a written response, the city’s director for health and human services denied, point by point, the accuracy of the protesters’ claims. Another city official disputed the argument that the $75,000 to be paid to a consultant could instead go to hiring three ACOs.
One city councilman (Manny Segura, at-large), reportedly the only city rep at the protest, had visited the shelter. He found people sharing a closet as an office and described as “terrible” that “there’s not even enough space for the animals.” He said other city council members have ignored his reports.
Segura advised the protesters to bring their message to a city council meeting, and one of the demonstrators’ leaders said they’ll return “next month” if conditions don’t improve.
As usual, the animals are in the middle, unable to speak for themselves about the living conditions at the Trenton shelter. How and when can this situation be improved?