Walk a Mile for Memphis


Save Memphis NJ announces the “Memphis Mile Dog Walk” to honor the locally famous pitbull who is currently being held at the John A. Bukowski Shelter for Animals.  The walk is also in honor of Jeff Coltenbeck, the Bloomfield dog trainer seeking to adopt him.

The “Memphis Mile” will begin in front of Bloomfield Town Hall, 1 Municipal Plaza this Saturday, September 15 at 11:00 am. 

Leashed dogs and their family members are invited to attend.  Coltenbeck and his wife Diana will be leading the Memphis Mile.  After the walk, water will be served for all four-legged participants and their friends in Watsessing Park, across the street from Town Hall.

“For eight days we had Memphis in our home, where we were training him.  He showed no behavior issues whatsoever,” Coltenback said.  A dog trainer for over 20 years, Coltenbeck, a Bloomfield resident, owner of Paradise Pets and founder of Pitty Rescue, Inc., specializes in the American Pit Bull Terrier and mixed pit bull breeds. 

“Memphis has no history of aggression, has never bitten anyone and has no food aggression,” he added. “The Health Department says there is a potential for him to harm someone, but all dogs have a potential to harm.  Does that mean they will?  No.”

Bloomfield Health Department, under the direction of Karen Lore, Acting Director of Health and Human Services, deemed Memphis “unadoptable” and a possible danger based on an evaluation conducted by Pia Salvani, Vice President of Training and Behavior, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center on March 4, 2012.  

When Jeff Coltenback contacted the Health Department to offer his services, the town’s attorney had Coltenback sign a five-page legal agreement for him to work on behavior modification with Memphis.  Coltenback then took videos of Memphis’ training and sent the township updates daily.  After eight days, Coltenback was required to return Memphis back to the shelter.  The Health Department accused Coltenback of breaching the contract by allowing children near the dog.  Coltenbeck says the children were behind a 6-ft tall fence at all times.

Currently, the Coltenbacks have sought legal counsel against the wrongful act of the Health Department and a fundraiser has been set up to help with the cost of legal fees to save Memphis at Pitty Rescue.com.

“We never imagined it would come to this, but it is apparent that the only way to work with the Health Department and to save Memphis is in court.   We will not stop until Memphis is out of the shelter and in our home where he belongs.  We are in disbelief of the department’s bully tactics, but we will not falter.  We will prevail,” stated Coltenback.


To learn more about Save Memphis NJ visit Facebook or Twitter at Save Memphis NJ, and sign the cause page.

Tentative Memphis Mile Route: The walk will begin in front of Bloomfield Town Hall and turn LEFT onto Franklin Street. LEFT onto Washington Street, and then a RIGHT onto Broad Street. The walk will then follow Broad Street and then take a LEFT onto Park Street, and continue to Bloomfield Ave and follow back to Town Hall. 

***Please note the walking route is subject to change, but it will always begin at Town Hall. 

Permit parking is NOT enforced during the weekend hours.

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