Large Crowd Turns Out for Memphis Mile Dog Walk

Large Crowd Turns Out for Memphis Mile Dog Walk

BY  |  Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 4:51pm
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Close to 200 people gathered at the Bloomfield Town Hall today at 11 a.m. and marched in support of Memphis, the pit bull deemed “unadoptable” by the Bloomfield Health Department.

The walk, dubbed the “Memphis Mile Dog Walk,” was organized by Save Memphis NJ and led by Jeff and Diana Coltenback. The Coltenbacks, who own Paradise Pet store in Bloomfield and operate a pit bull rescue organization, want to adopt Memphis, who was in their care for training for 8 days earlier in the summer. They were forced to return him to the Bloomfield Animal Shelter when pictures of Memphis interacting with children were shown on Facebook. Since that time they have been trying in vain to adopt him from the shelter and have recently filed a lawsuit against the town.

The crowd of supporters formed a procession in front of Town Hall and proceeded up Franklin Street to Broad Street past the Town Green, and then back down Broad Street to Bloomfield Avenue, ending the walk in front of Town Hall. Police cars with flashing lights were stationed at the crosswalks and police directed traffic to allow the marchers to proceed.

Dogs of every size, shape and breed accompanied their owners on the walk, from American Bulldogs to Dachshunds.

Both human and canine participants sported “Save Memphis” T-shirts, which Coltenback had made up and sold for $10 each to those who wanted them. Others had created their own apparel for the occasion.

Those marching held up numerous signs, some printed and many that were homemade, urging the Bloomfield authorities to let Memphis go to the Coltenbacks. At the end of the walk, Coltenback and other organizers passed out water and plastic dishes for the participants and their dogs.

Coltenback then thanked the crowd and urged them to come to show support for Memphis at the next Bloomfield Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 17 in the council chambers at Town Hall, and also at the Board of Health meeting on Thursday, September 20 at 6:30 p.m. (location to be announced).

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