Wheatfield supervisor wants independent probe of Niagara County SPCA

Jan 10, 2012

 The Town of Wheatfield supervisor weighed in Monday night into the probe of the SPCA of Niagara.  Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe told a board meeting that he would "prefer" an independent investigation surrounding recent allegations of hundreds of euthanized animals at the Niagara County SPCA.

The SPCA of Erie County is launching an investigation into the allegations.  But Cliffe told the board that it is  really a Niagara County-wide issue affecting all 12 towns and the three cities.  

Cliffe said he has discussed the situation with Barbara Carr, executive director of the SPCA of Erie County, but prefers an independent probe.

In a WBFO News interview last week, Carr said controlled substances are used to put animals to sleep and must be recorded.  Carr will be checking reasons why the animals were put to death.

"Why the animals were euthanized is certainly going to be up to some of interpretation," said Carr.

The Niagara County SPCA Board of Directors requested the investigation.  
Niagara County SPCA Executive director John Faso is accused of a high number of dog and cat euthanizations and  poor medical treatment of animals.  

Director of Animal Allies of Western New York, Morgan J. Dunbar, spoke at Monday night's board meeting. She tells WBFO News she is very concerned with the internal interconnecting between both the Niagara and Erie County SPCA's.   

Dunbar participated in a one-hour conference call with Cliffe, State Senator George Maziarz and Nathan Winograd,a national advocated for the "No Kill" movement.

"Marizarz understood and he is going to be contacting, once again, the 12 townships in Niagara County asking once again for them to sign on to a third party investigation," said Dunbar.  
The Niagara County SPCA Board of Directors requested the investigation.  
The Niagara County SPCA announced Monday that it has hired well-known defense attorney Paul Cambria  to assist in the investigation.  According to a news release issued by the SPCA of Niagara, Cambria refers to himself as an "animal rights activist" who has his own two rescued animals.

"I'm a proud and passionate animal rights activists," said Cambria.

But Dunbar disputes Cambria's proclaiming himself as an activists. She said she doesn't dispute that he is an "animal lover".  Dunbar said he is a "criminal lawyer.".

"I never heard of him, in this movement as anyone being known an animal rights activists. More importantly, I think we need to understand that he has been retained and  is being paid...by the Niagara SPCA," said Dunbar.  "He's not known as an investigator of SPCA'S or and animal shelters, he's known as a criminal defense attorney."