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Niagara SPCA releases external audit results; no findings of animal mistreatment


Thu, Jan 23rd 2020 02:30 pm

The Niagara SPCA recently underwent an external audit completed by Barbara Carr, former CEO of the SPCA Serving Erie County and currently a senior shelter consultant. The entire report is posted on the Niagara SPCA website (www.niagaraspca.org). Below is a summary of some of her recommendations.

  • Change the wording on signage at entrance regarding cat restrictions
  • Create a separate adoption lobby in the new facility
  • Have a volunteer welcome all visitors at the front entrance
  • Establish an identification method for both employees and volunteers
  • Cat area – install portal areas and cease using smallest cat kennels
  • Establish a separate area for isolation for cats and dogs in new facility
  • All staff with access to the PetPoint computer software program should change their current passwords
  • Only the executive director and shelter manager should be designated as administrators on the computer software program
  • All staff should take a refresher course on PetPoint, the computer software program
  • Asilomar status (which is part of the computer software program) should be inputted as part of the intake process
  • Monthly reports should be run on data and cross-checked with other reports. As a further note on this point, the way reports were run by the current executive director were the same way they were run by the previous executive director as documented by Carr when she reviewed the system and the reports. There is no substantiation the executive director under-reported euthanasia cases
  • Examine the process for intake and explore protocols, which would shorten adoption time
  • Work with the Niagara County Legislature to reduce stray hold time from five days to three days.
  • Consider testing for feline leukemia (FeLV) only on certain cases (hoarding, cats that have lived outdoors most of their lives, cats that show evidence of fighting with other cats)
  • Consider a new approach for dealing with stray cats
  • Begin a process of moving toward more open adoptions
  • Fill the volunteer coordinator position
  • Include funds in the budget for staff attendance at conferences; magazine subscriptions; NYCON membership
  • All staff should attend customer service training
  • The board should continue to attend board training

Euthanasia of dogs was discussed, and recommendations have already been put in place and will be followed. A shelter will be classified as a no kill shelter if its save rate is greater than 90%, which has been the case at the SPCA since 2012.

A press release noted, “Aside from these recommendations, there were no findings of animal mistreatment by the staff at the Niagara SPCA, as reported by some community advocates. This certainly was the most troublesome concern for the board and staff of the SPCA who take their responsibility of quality care for animals seriously.

“The Niagara SPCA is grateful for the opportunity to be reviewed by an expert such as Carr and looks forward to implementing her recommendations.

“The shelter remains committed to Niagara County and its role as the steward of all animals. The Niagara SPCA belongs to the community, not to its staff or board and we are appreciative of this privilege. We thank all our supporters, the board and staff and are dedicated to maintaining and improving the shelter mission of the Niagara SPCA as listed below:

“To prevent cruelty to all animals through public education on their humane treatment and to provide love, care, shelter and advocacy for companion animals in our community. We are committed to a no-kill philosophy, embracing the practices of rehabilitating, fostering and rehoming companion animals in need and to prevent their overpopulation through community outreach.”

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