The column that says the show on 92.1 FM today was better than good because Bob Hutchings got to air his feelings about a girls basketball camp he set up for a week in August and the globetrotting coach found out that only two girls signed up, so he had to cancel it, and now he’s thinking about putting together an AAU girls team, which is a big step up from high school ball because there are no weak teams and the parents invest in the program hoping for a college scholarship, and what made the show even better was Maia Stoerrle, part-time employee of the CCSPCA, who readies animals for adoption and who told us the shelter is ready to really advance in the future.
By Jack Hummel
Radio: 92.1 FM WVLT Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.
U.S. Army: RA13815980
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When the radio show was over today, Bob Hutchings headed to the CCSPCA on Delsea Drive to take part in the unveiling of the new Kitten Nursery. He either went for the finger food — cupcakes made by volunteers — or he wants to volunteer.
Hutchings casually told us and Maria that he has a garage full of cats who keep multiplying and he doesn’t even know he has a colony and really didn’t know about a program to Trap/Spay/Neuter/Release cats so they won’t multiply, despite Ric Kuhns crisscrossing the county selling the effort.
That’s what happens when you’re an international basketball coach.
The table is set at new CCSPCA Kitten Nursery for Bob Hutchings.
Maria Stoerrle should be the person behind the counter at the CCSPCA, 1244 N. Delsea Drive, every day, if only for her bubbly personality.
But, we can tell you this: If you don’t pass the muster to be an adopter, no amount of bluster is going to change their minds because they put the animals first.
As Maria said to us about some people experiencing rude receptions at the shelter, angry coming in can produce an angry response. Translation: Don’t come in with an attitude.
Maria needs more foster homes for animals along with the obvious — more adoptions. The shelter receives tremendous support from animal lovers, but not from county government, unlike surrounding counties.
We learned something else. Investigative agent Diana Leuellen has retired, leaving only Charlene Rosenbaum to ride herd on cruelty cases in the county.
But that’s still better than Gloucester County having to rely on the state SPCA to come down and handle complaints because they’re far from prompt.
Charlene will get a new partner as soon as someone is qualified, which is extensive because they are an officer of the law.
A little history
Nov. 24, 2012
Charlene Rosenbaum, 37, and Diane Leuellan-Lilla, 52, have looked over the paperwork for the day and are checking on their cruelty cases being housed at the shelter.
Including the fish.
“I think we lost a piranha overnight,” said Luellan-Lilla.
Rosenbaum hopes it won’t be like the previous Wednesday.
“I had a flat tire after doing an educational visit to Schalick High School,” she said. “It had better not happen. We just got four brand new tires.”
The tires were donated. The two don’t say it, but they could also use a new van.
They’ve been working together since June 2010. That is, most days. When one is off in the county of 156,000 people, the other has to ride solo.
“Compassion is not something you’re born with. It has to be nurtured. You’ll see that today. They (abusers) just don’t get it,” said Rosenbaum. She said a lot of animal abuse is gang-related.
“Oh my Lord yes,” said Rosenbaum. “They spray-painted our van right here in the parking lot.”
They joke that they are part of gang warfare.
“If so, I’m going to go on their turf and spray paint CCSPCA all over,” she laughed.
“Who? Her and I?” said Rosenbaum. “What can we do alone?”
They see themselves as alone in the animal protection effort.
“That’s all there is, her and I,” she said. “People say why don’t we do surveillance. How do we do that? We’re the only ones they see on the road. They know us.
“The culture (of abuse) is huge and it goes across the spectrum.”
You have to catch them in the act of dogfighting to get a conviction, they say.
“How do the two of us do that?” asked Rosenbaum.
Fighting leads to the stashing of dogs, according to the cruelty agents, who say the practice also leads to people dropping off dogs and leaving them to stray.
They talk about pit bulls being stolen in Millville by Bridgeton people. And vice versa.
“They wind up dropping them off in Fairfield,” said Rosenbaum. “Gouldtown, halfway between the two towns, becomes the dumping ground after they’re done with it.”
The pit bull found earlier this year in a Millville lake was one of them.
“And they get transferred out every two years,” said Rosenbaum. “Somebody from Hoboken doesn’t really understand what goes on here.”
Rosenbaum remembers Reece, the dog that was dragged behind a truck in Vineland.
“I know the whole story,” said Rosenbaum. “People told me exactly what happened, but they will never testify.”
And they can’t find the guy who did it anyway, she said.
The cruelty agents speak highly of their relationship with police.
Officer Christopher Reeves, killed earlier this year in Millville, was one of the best, they said.
“It was like he had a sense I needed him,” said Rosenbaum. “He’d show up when I was in a sticky situation and say, ‘SPCA, do you need my help? Do you need some of my people to come by?’
“Pretty soon, here would come two or three cop cars. I miss that.”
However, some dispatchers, when the animal control officer is not available, have told callers to put a stray dog back where they found it, Rosenbaum said.
“A lost dog is a safety issue,” grimaced Rosenbaum. “This is a county where a stray can have rabies. That’s why we’re here. To protect people from that.”
They see themselves as lacking resources. As they head out of the office on this day, they look back at a nonworking computer.
“Can you get somebody to donate a computer?” Luellan-Lilla asks.
Rosenbaum throws the van into gear and heads for Bridgeton to start rechecks, or follow-ups on previous abuse reports.
“First Bridgeton, then Seabrook and then the lake,” said Rosenbaum.
As in Laurel Lake. And any calls that come in between.
Believe it or not, Rosenbaum and Luellan-Lilla say education works.
“Even the simplest instructions can straighten out a situation,” Luellan-Lilla said. “Some people don’t know not to tie your dog with a shoestring.”
The day goes well.
They meet Billy Knipe, Bridgeton animal control officer, at their first stop, but no one is home, so they leave papers on the front door.
Knipe will check back later.
A stop at a Carll’s Corner store results in snacks “for the pit bulls that can never be adopted.”
“I want them to know what good care feels like,” says Rosenbaum.
Seabrook is another recheck and all goes well.
At an apartment complex in Millville, a woman has moved out without leaving a forwarding address.
A woman who has been cited for hoarding is not at home.
A Laurel Lake visit is both the saddest and most rewarding. A dog has not been fed because the owner has run out of money. The agents give her a half-bag of dry food and ask her to feed it a little bit at a time, but three times a day.
They promise to run tests to see if the dog has worms and get back to her with more food.
“She’s my baby,” sobs the woman.
It is what they like to do.
Response on raping of cadets at Air Force Academy because school officials didn’t believe the women …
“America is great Jack. Rapist are evil people (who disguise themselves often as true Americans) who need to be put away forever.
“They come from all walks of life, not just the military. But remember… for too long, women were shamed and put on trial because society said they must have done something to get raped.
“I think many still have that mentality. Sad… .”
— Peggy Gentile Van Meter
These women cadets and their families fought tooth and nail to get these cadets prosecuted, but the Academy turned a blind eye, which is worse than the rape itself to not be believed, and the women were heckled and forced to withdraw from school.
You can call America great, Peggy, when you should be using your voice to make sure these officials never see the light of day again.
This is sick!
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Man we all messed up and can’t no one escape that
We some broken people
Came from broken homes
Broken hearts inside of a broken soul
Alcoholics, the addicts
English, African, Arabs
Ain’t no riches to fix it
You still broke when you have it
If you ain’t breakin’ bad and you still chasin’ the habit
It ain’t no wonderland so we still chasing the rabbit
Ain’t a soul on the planet
That’s better than another
And we all need grace in the face of each other.”