The Westchester Shore Humane Society (WCHS) in Harrison, NY states on its website that it is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The shelter, which claims to be no kill, refers in its mission statement to enforcing animal protection laws, indicating it responds to nearly 2000 animal related calls each year. If the group is paid to perform animal control duties, I could find no evidence of it. In any case, WCHS is in a lot of trouble.
WCHS owns a shelter facility and an adjacent home in Harrison. The town recently condemned the home due to multiple violations which were not corrected. Police visited the home when a former tenant returned to pick up a refrigerator and found dead shelter pets in it.
The state Attorney General’s Charities Bureau says WCHS is in violation of a state law regarding fund raising because it has not filed financial statements with the state since 2010. The Westchester County Department of Health says the shelter was operating without a license for several months this year.
Fourteen people affiliated with WCHS, including volunteers, filed a lawsuit last month. The lawsuit alleges the married couple who runs WCHS have been renting out the home and pocketing the rent money. It also alleges the couple was running a paid boarding business at the shelter and using food donated for shelter pets to feed the paying customers’ pets.
But wait, there’s more:
The volunteers also alleged that they discovered medical records indicating that the shelter euthanized hundreds of animals, even though its website claims a no-kill policy.
While it’s unclear to me exactly what official role WCHS plays in enforcing animal laws, it appears that the group has legal concerns at home which need to be addressed. I reached out to WCHS for comment but haven’t received a reply. If I do, I will update this post.
14 thoughts on “Lawsuit Filed Against Westchester Shore Humane Society”
Boy, what a tangled web. :(
Well, well. Anybody remember this ugly incident in Harrison, NY back in April?
At the time, investigators said the animals appeared to have been “euthanized” and then dumped.
Oh wow. Thanks for sharing that Jeanne. I hadn’t seen that report. It says many of the dead animals appeared to have been healthy at the time of death. I hope they are investigating to see who is responsible. If it traces back to this place, surely one of the people in the lawsuit would have some info.
I wondered if I had seen that report here–maybe in one of the treats on the internet posts? Guess it must have been somewhere else. Someone noticed it in a comment under the news article you cited above, too. Different url from a different news report but same story. Saw that after I posted the link here–looks like I’m not the only one who remembered the incident. I really wouldn’t be surprised to find out this shelter was doing the dumping. There should be a separate charge of fraud for claiming to be no-kill while fleecing their donors.
As things stand, there are no criminal complaints against the owners. If it turned out that they were the dumpers, I would imagine there would be charges associated with that.
I found a follow-up story that says at least one of the animals died of natural causes and was supposed to be disposed of
properly by a NY company. So maybe someone else did the dumping after all. Story at http://www.lohud.com/article/20120412/NEWS/304120108/Break-dumped-animals-mystery-Dead-cat-s-owner-comes-forward?nclick_check=1
It’s a pretty sad state of affairs that the local “humane society” was the first place many thought of due to the facility’s awful reputation.
Yikes, scary stuff. As much as I’d like to think animal welfare is made up of rainbows and sunshine, sadly, it is made up of fallible human beings. As always, it’s the animals who suffer as a result. I hope this all gets cleaned up soon and the animals of Westchester Shore find better advocates.
Took the words right out of my mouth.
How many dogs/cats are cared for there? It said there are 14 volunteers, but are the animals all being cared for financially? What kind of shape is the shelter in?
WHEN WE LEARN HOW TO TREAT THE MAGNIFICENT ANIMALS OF THIS WORLD WITH LOVE AND CARE, WE CAN THEN LEARN HOW TO TREAT ONE ANOTHER WITH LOVE AND CARE. ANIMALS MAKE THE WORLD WHOLE AND COMPLETE. Love, linda.
Here’s your happy ending to this tragedy: Westchester Humane Society has been taken over and has thrown open its doors to a strong, dedicated group of animal lovers and volunteers, including the very talented pet photographer Geoff Tischman (http://www.tischmanpets.com). Please, please visit their facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WestchesterHumaneSociety, and give them a big “likin'”! This would make a great follow-up story….
i am looking to adopt a young small breed dog, does anyone know of a dog needing a home?
Try searching pets in your area on http://www.petfinder.com. You can also visit local shelters in person. I would call first to determine what their hours are since this is a week with a holiday in it.