TINTON FALLS - The Associated Humane Societies has suspended a Monmouth County animal shelter’s volunteer program after concerns arose about the safety of the animals.

For the time being, the Tinton Falls animal shelter will not be allowing volunteers. Scott Crawford, of the Associated Humane Societies of Newark, says it is because volunteers were not following the rules when it came to the animals, which led to some injuries.

“They were doing play groups even after we asked them not to…putting dogs in our outside runs in groups of two, four and five at a time. Without proper supervision, something is bound to happen,” he says.

Volunteers who spoke to News 12 New Jersey say that they are heartbroken and fear the animals won’t get the attention they need.

“I’m shocked,” says longtime volunteer Dawn Estelle. “Not just for me, but for the animals sitting in their cages.”

Management at the Tinton Falls shelter says the animals are getting the proper attention, and staff are walking and socializing with the animals until the volunteer program can be reinstated.

Read more about why the program was suspended

“We want to make sure when the doors do open up and we accept [volunteers] back, the program is better and stronger,” says Crawford.

The Associated Humane Societies will review guidelines and start a new volunteer program on Monday. Some but not all of the old volunteers will be asked back.