Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

March 5, 2013

Fighting like cats 'n dogs?


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Relations between the activists and the trustees clearly have soured. Reese said he’s fully aware that one or more trustees are saying he tried making his family’s continued monthly pledge to SPCA conditional on him being appointed board president, and Tutzauer being named executive director of the operation. He denied both claims vehemently, calling them “defamatory.”

Without acknowledging the suit, which was filed Feb. 28, the NCSPCA board on March 1 issued a two-page shelter progress report, titled “What a difference a year makes ... .”

In 2012, the Lockport Road shelter’s “no kill ratio” increased to 99 percent from a historic low of 29 percent in 2011, while its dog and cat adopt-out rate doubled, to 1,568, and it undertook a foster care program that landed temporary homes for over 800 animals, the report said.

The organization also got 244 dogs vaccinated against parvo virus in Niagara Falls, struck up a partnership with Cornell University Hospital for Animals to launch a spay/neuter program this spring, got three trustees certified as animal cruelty investigators and invested in shelter improvements from sanitizing and repainting to new signs, kennel fire doors, a phone system, a tractor and a cargo van, the report said.

SPCA also put professional services — legal advisement, accounting and asset management — out to bid for the first time, to cut costs, according to trustee/board spokesman Lawrence Eggert.

After being more than $100,000 “in the red” last year, thanks in part to about $65,000 in unpaid veterinary bills not taken care of by the prior board, the organization’s “books are balanced,” barely, Eggert said Monday. In the most recent payroll period, it had about $100 on hand after expenses including veterinary care, he said.

The board’s March 1 release was not so much a response to the lawsuit as “our side,” Eggert said.

“Mr. Reese is making it look like we’re a bunch of animal killers. That’s as far from the truth as you can get,” he said.

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