Erie County SPCA Probe into Niagara County SPCA Underway

January 6, 2012 Updated Jan 6, 2012 at 12:21 AM EDT

By John Borsa

January 6, 2012 Updated Jan 6, 2012 at 12:21 AM EDT

TONAWANDA, NY (WKBW) - The Erie County SPCA has officially launched an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing at the Niagara County SPCA.

"We're really looking at an entire organization and the pieces of that organization," said Barbara Carr, executive director of the Erie County animal shelter.

Carr and her staff are being brought in at the request of the Niagara County SPCA Board of Directors to probe allegations of mismanagement and mistreatment.

The charges come from a current board member and several current and former volunteers and employees.

Niagara County SPCA leaders, however, deny any wrongdoing.

"We at this point cannot find any validity to what's been presented so far. We have not been presented with any evidence," said Niagara County SPCA Board President Brandy Scrufari.

Carr said she conducted a review of the Niagara County facility two years ago and found that 90 percent of animals brought in were euthanized, while just 10 percent were adopted.

"Two years ago they were placing 2.7 percent animal per 1,000 residents compared to us -- we were placing 9.8 animals per 1,000 residents," she said.

Carr promised transparency and said all of her findings will be available for the public and news media.