Tag Archives: cruelty

Animal shelter director fired

Animal shelter board received report, and then acted on it!

Charlie Specht wrote for the Buffalo News Monday, Embattled Faso fired as Niagara SPCA chief: Board move follows furor, scathing report on shelter,

The leaders of the SPCA of Niagara hired John A. Faso as executive director in April 2010 after interviewing a series of “remarkable” applicants.

“We were really impressed with the quality, but John stood out,” board President Bruno A. “Brandy” Scrufari III said at the time. “We were confident he’s here to stay for quite some time.”

Those high hopes came crashing down Monday as the board voted to fire its embattled executive director after a month of criticism and a scathing report outlining a dysfunctional culture and unnecessary and cruel euthanasia practices.

“This is a quick, decisive, positive reaction to go forward,” said Paul J. Cambria Jr., the defense attorney advising the board. “They’re well on their way to fixing it.”

It took less than one week for them to act after getting the report.


SPCA report on animal shelter: “Childish Behavior” and lack of oversight

No, not here (although the description might fit): SPCA of Erie County, New York reported on the animal shelter in neighboring Niagara County, New York. Also the parts about “horrific” animal cruelty and “excruciatingly painful” euthanasia may sound familiar.

WGRZ.com wrote today, SPCA of Niagara Report; “Childish Behavior”, Lack of Oversight,

In part of her report, Carr writes, “It’s clear that the NCSPCA is dysfunctional in many ways. Without standard operating procedures, without careful record keeping and record retrieval, without trust of one another, without a clear chain or command, with any strategies to improve, this organization will continue to disappoint and enrage the community,”

She continues, “there is an overwhelming culture of distrust at the shelter. Some staff distrust the Executive Director, the Executive Director distrusts many of the board members, many board members distrust the Executive Director and some staff and volunteers distrust some staff and staff distrusts some volunteers. Everyone seems to distrust someone associated with the SPCA. They gossip, pass on written complaints about each other to one another, try to get each other fired, go behind backs of one another to people in authority and make complaints. The evaluation team has witnessed this rather childish behavior at all levels of the organization, by board members, the Executive Director, staff members, and volunteers.”

Charlie Specht wrote for the Buffalo News yesterday, Probe details ‘horrific’ animal cruelty at Niagara SPCA: Report by Erie County counterpart details ‘excruciatingly painful’ euthanasia, Continue reading

No inhumane treatment issues other than the pot belly pig?

Received Sunday a PDF of a letter from Joe Pritchard, County Manager, to Mary Greene, GA Dep. of Ag. together with the appended cover letter from Susan Leavens. -jsq

Mr. Prichard has made many comments in reference to several of his employees; in recent news paper articles and on the evening news indirectly of course that “they” had bios opinions and even questioned my character in one article.

Mr. Prichard also informed everyone there were no inhumane treatment issues other than the pot belly pig. Well I believe in this document from County Manager Joe Prichard to Ms. Mary Green with Department of Agriculture animal protection says otherwise. I believe Mr. Prichard’s recent statement to the media was though our investigation we found no wrong doing… lets list them here.

Continue reading

I was told that these people were going to be prosecuted —Susan Leavens

Received 27 July on Shouldn’t the people running the facilities … be held accountable? -jsq
Ms. Jane Osborn,

I believe this was not meant to make the public’s attention. When I was told to write statements I was told that these people were going to be prosecuted. Several months went by and this remained silent, I waited for the county board memebers to to do the right thing. What happened was the infamous memo; which indicated we were not allowed to contact any law enforcement agency about crimes or we would be held accountable for discrediting a county employee. And it would be considered as an attack against a county employee. Whoever if we contacted our county manager it would be handled (I’m not quite sure how many times he needed to be contacted about the issues at the shelter). As I clearly remember in the first meeting he had at the shelter many years ago… Joe Prichard said “I’ll fire everyone except Linda Patelski, Kay Jones and Michelle Shultz” so I’m a little confused, the memo we got on September 22, 2010 said we wouldn’t be retaliated against if we followed the chain of command (so does it mean if we report crimes to law enforcement we will be retaliated against?) Clearly so, I assure you. The issues need to be resolved.

-Susan Leavens

Where is law enforcement? —Jane Osborn

Received 27 July on Shouldn’t the people running the facilities … be held accountable? -jsq
And I continue to ask, since my email of a couple of months ago to the Sheriff never received an answer, where is law enforcement when there clearly are illegal acts of animal cruelty occurring here? We made a big deal (appropriately) several years ago about a dog that was intentionally set on fire by local people, but these violations are all the more difficult to understand since they appear to be happening at the hands of the very people sworn to protect our county’s animals.

-Jane Osborn

“Once the investigation is complete and closed all documents will be provided to you.” —Custodian of Records

More from Susan Leavens:
—– Forwarded Message —- From: “King, Shirley”
To: “sleavens4@bellsouth.net”
Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 2:21:02 PM
Subject: Open Records Request
Ms. Leavens, as you requested under the Georgia Open Records Act, please find message from the custodian of records for Animal Protection attached.
If we may assist you any further, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Shirley J. King
Open Records Coordinator
The attached PDF is here on the LAKE website. Interestingly, although that message from Patricia Mitchell, “Animal Protection Office Custodian of Records” says
“Once the investigation is complete and closed all documents will be provided to you.”
it also says:
“By policy the department only retains 2 years (2008 & 2009) inactive files and 1 years (2010) active files.”
So if the investigation takes more than 2 years, do the earlier files about it start to vanish?


All employees were drug tested and interviewed —Joe Pritchard

Susan Leavens sent this Tuesday:
John, this is the first open records reguest I did with GDA. The rest will be in order of date of the request.
The document Shirley King attached for Item #2 was this PDF of a letter from Joe Pritchard of 27 August 2010 telling USDA GDA all employees (presumably of the animal shelter) had been drug-tested and were being interviewed.

Documents about the animal shelter are appearing here on the LAKE web pages. Here are the messages Susan Leavens forwarded along with this particular letter.

-jsq Continue reading

I tried following the chian of command —Susan Leavens

Many comments are on Animal shelter open records and Return cameras. Susan Leavens provides specific information in this one. -jsq
Concerned Citizen,

Please understand that there are state laws that people get arrested for each day also; the county ordiance mirrors the state law(s) however if you have not read the statements no one was arrested either. And do you think the bulldog was the first incident? Keep reading!! Below are some other things which have occured in the shelter.

Page 3 #15 Cruelty,
Page 5 #23 hoplesly disable animal,
page 5 #26 humane care,
page 7 #36 records,
Section 5 page 10 Emergencies involving animals,

to name a few of the Lowndes County Ordinance.

So when you say why didn’t I(Officer Leavens)end

Continue reading

Animal shelter open records from Susan Leavens

Received yesterday from Susan Leavens:
These are the open records that me and another animal control officer sent to GDA and I also have Amanda Jordans Statement if you would like that. Please excuse some of the language in my statement she (pat smith GDA inspector) told me to write it like it was said….
Here they are on the LAKE web pages.

These records include much more detail than what we’ve heard before.

After reading them, do you think installing a few cameras is adequate to deal with this situation?


Why make it hard to obtain the budget? —Jessica Bryan Hughes

Why, indeed? -jsq
This is ridiculous.

-Jessica Bryan Hughes

This comment came in yesterday on Proposed Lowndes County Budget published by LAKE.