WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) - Two people are accusing the executive director of the Niagara County SPCA of putting down hundreds of animals that were not terminally ill.
He is supposed to make sure stray and abused animals receive the love and medical attention they so desperately need. But some former Niagara County SPCA staffers are accusing Executive Director John Faso of allowing sick and injured animals to go without treatment, and of allowing healthy animals to be euthanized.
Former SPCA volunteer Lisa Liddle said, "To the point where I sat in his office with a list of dogs' names, asking how long they had, pleading for their lives."
Kathy Paradowski, the newest member of the SPCA's Board of Directors, tells News 4 volunteers began reporting alleged incidents of abuse to the board months ago. Paradowski described a couple of them. A stray Chihuahua, left caged in the shelter all weekend.
"The dog sat in its own bloody feces, very sick, suffering, until Monday morning. Until another staffer came in and realized that the dog was way too sick, and needed to be euthanized," said Paradowski.
The Christmas day discovery of a small dog in another cage, with a foot injury. Paradowski described, "The dog's paw was severely severed. They did stitch up the paw, so we're currently waiting to see if the stitches are going to hold, or if it needs any amputation."
All of this was news to Board President Brandy Scrufari, when News 4 spoke to him Monday night. Since November, Scrufari says, a couple "isolated incidents" of animals not receiving medical care in a timely fashion have been reported to the board. But Scrufari says he has heard no allegations of cruelty or mistreatment.
Scrufari said, "If there were any of these allegations that were brought months ago, believe me, the board would've been right on top of it."
The board has begun a full investigation. If the allegations are ultimately found to be true, Faso will likely face termination.
"There's no way that the board could tolerate -- especially a board that's entrusted with the care of animals -- could tolerate any type of negligence on the part of an executive director," said Scrufari.
There is a growing sense of urgency about this situation. Normally, the SPCA's board wouldn't meet until next week. Scrufari is now hoping to arrange a special meeting within the next 48 hours.
News 4 reached out to Faso for comment, but he was unavailable.
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