Niagara Gazette —
Gazette Managing Editor Matt Winterhalter isn't surprised by the photo’s reaction.
“We knew it was a special photo when Jim came back from the rescue,” Winterhalter said. “The dog waiting by the water's edge with the man's glove in his mouth is an amazing image. The image took on added significance later when we found out the man had not survived the ordeal.”
Pfeiffer began investigating allegations of mismanagement and maltreatment of the animals at the SPCA of Niagara back in October of 2011.
He broke the story on Jan. 1 of this year and it ignited a firestorm in the community. The series of stories eventually led to an investigation by the Erie County SPCA, which released a scathing report on the Niagara facility. Former Executive Director John Faso was fired and the entire board of directors was later replaced.
Operations at the SPCA of Niagara have now improved with a new board and new Executive Director Amy Lewis.
“It's great to see Rick Pfeiffer recognized for his hard work and dedication,” said Winterhalter, “but I think he'd tell you, and all of us at the Gazette agree, that having a hand in getting the SPCA of Niagara back on track is the real reward here.”
With mugs of Rick Pfeiffer and James Neiss