Cattaraugus community?fighting to save animals

The News editorial, "Allegations of mistreatment demand immediate probe of Cattaraugus SPCA," correctly points out that an overhaul is needed, yet contains erroneous information. The News says that the Erie County SPCA is the "gold standard of animal shelters." To the contrary, the Erie County SPCA raw live release rate of 63.5 percent for 2011 is abysmally low, and nowhere near the 90 percent-plus raw live release rate required to join the ranks of "no kill." The Erie County SPCA has plenty of work to do internally to decrease its own kill rate. It is certainly not needed in Cattaraugus County, where a movement of the people is under way to save these animals.

The ASPCA is also mentioned in the editorial. Those familiar with no kill know that the ASPCA often defeats shelter reform legislation and maintains the paradigm of killing in our nation's shelters. The last thing Cattaraugus needs is ASPCA death squads coming in to "rescue" animals.

The News editorial implies I criticized the Wyoming SPCA prior to the raid. That is untrue. What is true is that at least 140 animals taken from the Wyoming SPCA, in need of veterinary care and compassion, were exterminated by the Erie County SPCA.

There are at least 250 animals held captive by the Cattaraugus SPCA. The community will fight to save these animals. Our fight for the animals won't have anything to do with Erie County SPCA, ASPCA or any other pro-kill organization.

Morgan J. Dunbar

Director, Animal Allies of WNY

Co-founder, Citizens for Shelter

Reform at Cattaraugus County SPCA