WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) - The public will soon know if there's any truth behind allegations of animal abuse at the Niagara County SPCA.
The Erie County SPCA will lead an investigation and promises to make whatever the findings are very public.
Erie County SPCA Executive Director Barbara Carr said, "My first step will be to request a lot of documentation."
Carr has been given the go ahead by Erie County's SPCA Board of Directors to do an independent investigation of Niagara County's SPCA.
Board president Larry Robb said, "Go in there, do an analysis and see what's really happening or not happening and then we'll go from there."
It comes after allegations from at least one former employee that Niagara County SPCA euthanized about 500 animals just since October, and that some were healthy animals.
"If it's a healthy animal or treatable animal, it's never okay, but it might be that there are no resources to do anything for that animal," said Carr.
Carr is considered an authority, and has analyzed other animal shelters around the country. Three years ago, she evaluated Niagara County and came back with 100 recommendations.
"So there's plenty of areas that we can measure what has improved, what hasn't improved over the last two years," explained Carr.
But just to put it into perspective: the SPCA serving Erie County takes in about 10,000 cats and dogs every year. They end up euthanizing about 3,000 of them - 2,000 because the owners want the animals put to sleep, and the remaining 1,000 are euthanized because they are unhealthy, untreatable or aggressive.
Niagara County takes in over 5,000 animals a year, and if 500 were euthanized, it would be a very low number for the whole year, but high for just a two-month period.
Niagara County SPCA board president Brandy Scrufari said, "When we say that we are trying to make this facility a "no kill shelter," believe me, that's what we have in mind."
As Barbara Carr investigates, she is looking for any relevant input from the public about Niagara County SPCA's euthanasia practices. The public can make comments by following this link.
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