Lewis named director of Niagara County SPCA

Jun 25, 2012

The woman serving as interim leader of the Niagara County SPCA has become the permanent leader.   Amy Lewis stepped in nearly six months ago when a scathing report of high and unnecessary euthanizations was revealed.

The scandal-plagued Niagara County SPCA continues taking steps toward rehabilitating its image. 

The shelter's board Monday announced Amy Lewis, who's been serving as interim executive director since February, has accepted the permanent post. 

Lewis, a Lockport native who previously worked with the SPCA Serving Erie County, was praised strongly in a written statement. 

The board, which was completely replaced last month, says Lewis has raised the survival rate at the shelter from 56 to 86 percent.   Directors says Lewis has done an "outstanding job" and that animal care and conditions at the Lockport Road facility are "vastly improved." 

"Imagine the most horrible situation you could find yourself being thrown into in a job, and I think, unfortunately the SPCA would have quality as the top two or three," said Larry Eggert, board member.  "She's been working literally  16 hour days, seven days a week for the past six months."

Lewis takes over from John Faso, who was fired earlier this year after reports surfaced of poor conditions, mismanagement, and unnecessary euthanization.  Erie County SPCA Director Barbara Carr issued a scathing report on the operation following an investigation.

Lewis accepted a one-year contract that will pay her $50,000 a year, according to The Buffalo News.