Niagara SPCA Looking To Fill Board

March 20, 2012 Updated Mar 20, 2012 at 8:59 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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March 20, 2012 Updated Mar 20, 2012 at 8:59 AM EDT

WHEATFIELD, N.Y. ( WKBW ) Monday night, Niagara County membership of the SPCA reviewed candidates for a new Board of Directors.

Some of the names submitted are current members, accused of running the place into the ground before allegations of mismanagement and suspected animal abuse arose in January.

Diane McKee, a member of SPCA Niagara commented to Eyewitness News, "I think it's going to go well. Many good people were nominated tonight. A lot of nominations are in."

Members suggested candidates for a new board of directors, the latest step to fix the troubled image of the animal shelter.

Member Margie Kwiatkowski said, "What we need are people who can take this forward, get us corporate sponsorships,and let us get on with our fundraisers...most importantly letting us speak for the animals and take care of them."

All 15 board members will be replaced.

A nominating committee will pick the candidates for a membership vote in May.

Some of those seeking the post are current board members.

Current Board President Brandy Scrufari noted, "The membership will have a chance to vote those people on or off, whoever they chose. It's certainly their opinion."

But Scrufari says he is not among those who are seeking to stay on.

"No, I am not. I will continue to support the SPCA, and I will always do that, but I have no interest in remaining on the board," Scrufari added.

A board that's been labeled as dysfunctional in a report issued by the SPCA serving Erie County, which launched a review of the Wheatfield animal shelter following allegations of mismanagement and animal neglect, including horrendous euthanasia practices, have mostly been corrected by the new Interim Director.

Scrufari says the turnaround will take months, but is confident a new board will make the difference.

"It's very bright, you're going to get some fresh people with fresh ideas, and I think with the controversy the microscope will be on the SPCA of Niagara and the board, so I think you're going to see a lot of productivity," Scrufari concluded.