WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) - John Faso, the Executive Director of the Niagara County SPCA came under fire some time ago. Friday, Faso said he would meet with News 4. But he ended up having little to say.
It took hours for Faso to show up and speak with us; his lawyer stood at his side. Faso said he has read the 116 page report released Friday by the Erie County SPCA. You can read the entire report on the Niagara County SPCA for yourself here. The report details systematic failures and oversights that came under his watch.
We presented Faso an opportunity to defend himself and the practices some of his technicians used. He would only say, "No comment."
News 4 continued, "Their pets are being stuck in the heart and can actually feel the liquid going in; it's painful. What do you have to say about that?"
Faso replied, "Yeah, again, I'm not going to comment on that until I can look at the report."
News 4 asked again, "But you can understand why there's outrage?" Faso answered, "I can, I can, I'm not going to comment."
Animal rights activist Cynthia Gerber said, "The acts that have been happening with these animals in this so-called shelter are not euthanasia and are barbaric and are torture."
Gerber is a part of Animal Allies of Western New York. The 116 page report, outlining how poorly some animals were treated, was more than enough to infuriate her.
"Horrified. Horrified that this is going on within Niagara County," Gerber said. "The SPCA of all places. I'm horrified. They toss the animal aside, where it's left to suffer and convulse and then slowly die, it's not a quick death."
Gerber on behalf of Animal Allies is calling for Faso to hand in his resignation.
"Serial killers are given more dignity and respect than these animals have been given," she said.
A no-kill shelter in Niagara County is something many are demanding, including Senator George Maziarz.
He released a statement that read, "I believe firmly that the SPCA of Niagara will not recover, in the eyes of its volunteers, the supporters and the municipalities they serve until these steps are taken."
Gerber said, "It's time to have people put into this board that are for no-kill shelters because they work. They work and they can be done and they can save the community money and lives."
The Erie County SPCA continues to urge the community to support the Niagara shelter. As for Faso, there's no word if he'll step down from his post. He's only been on the job for about 20 months.
Meetings are being held, beginning on Monday, regarding the push for a no-kill shelter. Buffalo Humane will be at the helm of those meetings. Representatives tell News 4 they have a plan to move the Niagara SPCA toward becoming a no-kill shelter.
Buffalo Humane provided News 4 with these documents in support of a no-kill shelter:
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One letter was about the violent altercation between Jim Ying and another employee, and in the other letter Ying described why the restaurant is closing.
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