Niagara Falls, NY (WKBW) Chants, signs and upset community were the sights and sounds Saturday morning outside of the Niagara County SPCA, amid allegations of mismanagement and with concern for the care of animals.
Protesters lined the street in front of the Niagara County SPCA and during the protest, more new allegations surfaced of what some former workers and volunteers say went on at the animal shelter.
"There were dogs that were healthy and treatable that I personally saw that were healthy and treatable that were put to sleep," former employee Melissa Voutour said.
"I saw a lot of animals get euthanized that were actually healthy animals," former intern Clare Sweeney said. Sweeney went on to tell the story of one dog who was put to sleep because it had "flea allergies."
The Erie County SPCA is now investigating a variety of claims that have come out this month, made by former employees, volunteers, and a member of the board.
"Just because someone says it's so, doesn't make it so, when it may not necessarily be so. That is why it is so important for the Erie County SPCA to do their job, perform their review, and let the chips fall where they may," SPCA spokesperson Stefan Mychajliw said.
Protesters say the allegations of high euthanization rates and lack of care for animals at the shelter are simply unacceptable, blaming Director John Faso and calling for his firing.
"I just want better care for the animals and I believe it is time for a change. I just want to be able to sleep at night and know these animals are safe," Clare Sweeney said.
"They don't have a voice and we are their voice for a change. And it is time for a change in Niagara County," protester Danielle Grek added.
"The main goal that everyone shares is for the care of animals here in Niagara County. It's very important to take a step back and let the Erie County SPCA to do their job, take the information, separate fact from fiction, perception versus reality," Stefan Mychajliw said.