Shakeup at Chester County SPCA

WEST GOSHEN, Pa. - September 17, 2013

A major shakeup in the Board of Directors has been announced.

Critics say the kennel is a "killing factory" while supporters say that can't be further from the truth.

Some current and former volunteers and staff say the treatment of animals is horrible and far too many are being euthanized.

"Sometimes we tend to do what's easy as opposed to what's right and that's what happening there," former Canine Kennel coordinator Michelle Amendola said.

Carin Ford, a former SPCA board member, resigned in July because she says her concerns were ignored. She showed us photos of Chance, a pit bull who came to the kennel in good health then wasted away.

"By the time they finally got around to giving him any kind of veterinarian care and doing blood work on him, it was too late," Ford said.

One former volunteer told Action News about Mona, the shelter's office dog, who she says she tried to rescue before it was euthanized for trying to bite a worker.

Current kennel coordinator Arnie Milowsky said even though a former volunteer offered to adopt Mona, she was denied, because "at that point, we have a dog that we don't consider safe and we still do have a responsibility to the community."

The open-access shelter takes in 5,000 strays a year from Chester and Delaware counties.

It denies charges of abuse and neglect.

"Some groups, if they disagree with procedures throw stones at the other group and that's what's happening here," Chester County Board SPCA Board President Conrad Muhly said.

Muhly will remain Board President during the shake-up and has spear-headed an initiative to help provide the best kennel care.

Employees say Chance suffered from kennel stress.

"He was seen weekly by our veterinarian. [He] had blood work sent out, unfortunately, everything came back negative," Chester County SPCA Office Coordinator Grace Keffer said.

"In the 10 years I've been here, I've never seen any anybody act anything other than kindly and compassionately towards these animals," SPCA volunteer Sherrie Springer said.

Last month, the State conducted a surprise inspection at the shelter's main location and its annex on Lenape Road; both facilities passed.

No dogs were there when we visited, but victims of animal cruelty are often housed there.

The group of former and current volunteers and staff plans to continue to fight for improvements at the Chester County SPCA, that while 11 new board members are added in the coming months.

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