The Director of the Niagara County SPCA in New York is under fire for allegations of neglect that include; letting a sick Chihuahua puppy die alone in its cage and unjustly euthanizing nearly 600 lost or homeless animals in the past three months.
Board member Kathy Paradowski and SPCA employee Lisa Liddle accused the organization’s Executive Director, John Faso of “over euthanizing” healthy stray animals and not providing adequate veterinary care for sick and injured cats and dogs. They want him removed from his job.
Late in 2011 the Niagara Falls Police Department discovered a sick Chihuahua puppy that appeared to be suffering from Parvo. The dog was vomiting and bleeding from its mouth.
They called the SPCA to pick up the dog, believing it would be transferred to the Grand Island Veterinary Clinic for emergency care. However, when they called the hospital to check on the puppy’s condition, they were told the dog was never brought there.
Instead the puppy was taken to the SPCA shelter and put into a cage. The police dispatcher tried to contact Faso to request the Chihuahua be taken to the emergency clinic, but he never responded.
A SPCA employee found the puppy the next morning, “laying in a pool of blood and dying. The puppy tested positive for Parvo, but could not be saved and was euthanized.”
During the past few months SPCA staff and volunteers have taken pictures of other animals that have gone untreated.
“I like to think that I live in a more humane society than the county I’m living in right now. Breaks my heart to say that I live in a county where if your dog gets out – your dog is probably dead,” Lisa Liddle said.
Faso became the Executive Director for the SPCA in April 2010 after serving as the director of the Conference Center of Niagara Falls and a director of event services. He had limited experience working with animals and several staff members questioned his qualifications when he was hired. There was speculation that the real purpose of his job was to do fundraising rather than oversee the shelter.
A complete investigation into the practices of the Niagara County SPCA will be conducted by an animal welfare group in the next county. Director Barbara Carr, of the Erie County SPCA will oversee the investigation. Carr is an experienced evaluator of animal agencies and has worked as a consultant for the Humane Society of the United States.
Photo from juliesjournal via flickr.