Niagara Gazette

Opinion

March 13, 2013

GUEST VIEW: In defense of the SPCA of Niagara board

Niagara Gazette — A court case, proposed by three individuals who have the benefit of a “free” lawyer, are opposing the legitimacy of the current structure of the SPCA of Niagara’s Board of Directors and proposed voting tiers.

First of all — I think it’s only fair to emphasize the unsung fortune of having professional individuals on the SPCA board of directors, keeping in mind that they do what they do voluntarily, and they do it very well.

Currently on the SPCA of Niagara board is President Bryan Barish who owns Allbreed Obedience Academy and is a full-time professional dog trainer with over 17 years of experience.

Assisting him on the board at the SPCA of Niagara is Dr. Susan Persico — a well-respected veterinarian who runs Central Park Hospital in Buffalo with her husband, veterinary surgeon, Dr. Franklin Latson. For the record, Dr. Latson is also the veterinarian/surgeon who has cared for the animals at the Aquarium of Niagara for well over a decade.

Dr. Susan Persico loves animals, and as a direct benefit of the love she and her husband have for animals, being a board member at our shelter is a blessing beyond measure. Animals are treated and nurtured with no charge regularly. Who better to be on our board than a qualified and respected veterinarian with a husband who is also a veterinary surgeon? Invaluable!

Additionally, Larry Eggert and Dave Bower are long-time police enforcement officials in the Niagara community — both animal lovers with no tolerance for abusers of the animals they serve to protect. In addition, Bower is very instrumental in planning and manning many fundraisers — and he enjoys doing this! Summer 2013 is already in the development phase of many fun events! Stay tuned!

As for the financial side, the SPCA now has two certified accountants on board. David Urban is the board treasurer and Michelle Madigan also serves as board secretary. In addition to full-time jobs, not to mention the stress during tax season at this time — they voluntarily put in 30-40 hours additional per week tending to SPCA record keeping, accounts payable and receivables. Add into the mix — on a shoestring budget — finding funds to become defendants in a lawsuit — more time and money away from the animals.

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