WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WKBW) — It's been 48 hours since the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team first brought you a series of allegations against the Niagara SPCA, all from people once connected to the shelter.
The issues range from animal care, to internal policies on euthanasia not being followed.
Wednesday, the Niagara SPCA invited 7 Eyewitness News for a tour of the facility, and to answer some questions.
The SPCA of Niagara is responding to criticism brought to the @wkbw I-Team. We’re being given a tour of the facility now. pic.twitter.com/ebJzjnvHCI— Hannah Buehler (@HannahBuehler) November 20, 2019
While we were expecting full access, we were only allowed in areas open to the public like the cat and dog adoption areas. The areas were clean, and volunteers and behaviorists were on hand working with the animals. We did not get to see the infirmary.
We are being escorted around the facility. We have done full-length interviews with members of the current board, donors and current Executive Director. I was told I can take photos and video but no Facebook Live. @WKBW pic.twitter.com/6xG1x4RJHW— Hannah Buehler (@HannahBuehler) November 20, 2019
We sat down with the board president, the executive director, the shelter manager, the shelter veterinarian and a donor, all who strongly disagree with allegations brought by the former executive director, board members and staffers who resigned because of their concerns.
"I want to be perfectly clear that my number one priority has been and always will be the welfare of the animals," said Tim Brennan, Executive Director of the Niagara SPCA. "We treat 2,500-3,000 animals a year and we're very proud of that. I just think it's very easy for some individuals to hand-pick some cases that may have been handled differently throughout the year."
We've been sifting through hundreds of pages of documents provided to 7 Eyewitness News regarding possible breaches in policy and animal care. We want to be responsible in our coverage and fair.
At this point over the last 14 months, seven board members have resigned from their post, citing a lack of transparency in the shelter and its management. As we carefully look at the details and growing allegations, we will bring you the latest updates and responses from both sides.