SPCA of Niagara Vet Tech Speaks Exclusively to Eyewitness News

February 1, 2012 Updated Feb 1, 2012 at 9:06 AM EDT

By John Borsa

February 1, 2012 Updated Feb 1, 2012 at 9:06 AM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WKBW) - The woman accused of carrying out heinous methods of euthanization at the SPCA of Niagara claims no animals suffered under her care.

The former employee of the embattled animal shelter spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News reporter John Borsa.

According to a report released last Friday by the SPCA Serving Erie County, which investigated animal abuse allegations at SPCA of Niagara, animals were put down at the Wheatfield shelter using inhumane and painful techniques.

McAlee-Miller denies that.

"I felt obligated to say something because I didn't want people to think based on what they heard that that is something that went on there. Certainly not on my watch," she said.

She said the board of directors and the executive director, who was fired on Monday, failed the community and the animals by not providing the shelter with adequate staffing and support.

"Animals that had minor health problems... eye infections, skin infections, ear infections... they were being euthanized," McAlee-Miller said.

Even pregnant dogs and cats and nursing mothers and their puppies or kittens were put down.

"Unless they were several months old, old enough to be vaccinated and be protected from disease; old enough to be spayed or neutered so they could go up for adoption. Anything that didn't meet that criteria was generally euthanized," she said.

McAlee-Miller changed that practice shortly after she started working at SPCA of Niagara in 2006.

But there were constant pressures to euthanize animals to make room at the shelter, which was almost always short on space.

Eyewitness News received a statement from the Board of Directors of the Niagara County SPCA late Tuesday night that states in part, "while we recognize that we share in the blame for some issues at the shelter, it is clear that our immediate efforts must be focused on appointing a capable and qualified interim executive director."

Attorney Paul Cambria told Eyewitness News that announcement could come as early as Wednesday.

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