Niagara County SPCA Under Fire

January 3, 2012 Updated Jan 3, 2012 at 9:07 AM EDT

By WKBW News

January 3, 2012 Updated Jan 3, 2012 at 9:07 AM EDT

NIAGARA COUNTY, NY ( WKBW ) The Executive Director of the Niagara County SPCA is being accused of mismanagement, and it could cost the organization significant government funding.

The allegations include animals not getting the medical treatment they need, to runaway dogs being euthanized before their owners can claim them.

After reports broke in the Niagara Gazette about alleged mismanagement, with follow up reports on Eyewitness News, at least one Niagara County city is considering taking their stray animals somewhere else.

Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker told Eyewitness News that he may suspend the city's contract with the Niagara County SPCA following allegations of animal neglect at the facility.

He said, "I have to have a conversation with the City of Lockport Common Council, but I'm considering suspending the contract until we get our arms around this to see what's going on."

Note that the video in this story contains some disturbing images of animals.

Kathy Paradowski, a current board member of the SPCA and Lisa Liddle, a former volunteer, allege healthy animals are needlessly being put down, instead of being put up for adoption. They told Channel 7's John Borsa injured animals are often left untreated.

According to sources, on injury to a cat's paw went untreated for days. Paradowski claims about 600 cats and dogs have been euthanized in three months, and that includes runaways and strays.

Paradowski explained, "If you don't claim your dog in a period of time, sometimes it's a day, and you go in...your dog is already euthanized. So a lot of adoptable animals are not being properly screened. I don't even think they're checking for chips to see if those animals belong to anyone."

Liddle added, "I like to think that I live in a more humane society than the country 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."

The President of the SPCA Board, Brandy Scrufari, says the allegations are being investigated.

"I can tell you every single board member on our board is an animal lover, including myself. I own four cats. We take this very seriously," Scrufari told Eyewitness News.

At the center of the allegations is the Niagara County SPCA Executive Director, John Faso. Eyewitness News spoke to Faso several times seeking comment on these allegations, however he declined. Faso said he will likely issue a statement shortly.

An internal investigation is underway.