Animal shelter working to regain public confidence


SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – From staff shake-ups to questions over euthanasia policies, the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter in Lackawanna County has made a lot of headlines in the past year. Most of them weren’t good.

Managers are now trying to move forward but they say they need the community’s help.

The shelter in South Abington Township is almost finished with a huge renovation project but that too came with controversy.

There is now a new management team in place and that team says it is committed to regaining the public’s trust.

If you haven’t been to the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter lately, things look a little different.

The outside grounds are being cleaned up and a large-scale renovation project is wrapping up.

Maybe most importantly for the dogs and cats, a new board of directors and management team is in place.

“We have a new medical director. He has ten-plus years experience and he’s been doing phenomenal. We have a new kennel manager. She actually runs her own rescue,” Ashley Wolo, interim shelter director said.

Ashley Wolo is the shelter’s interim executive director.

She spoke with Eyewitness News Tuesday hoping to begin changing public opinion about the shelter and its past problems.

There has been a revolving door of directors, a cat virus outbreak and community outrage over concerns that animals were being put down due to a lack of space.

“A lot of people want to close this place down but if we close this place down where are all of these animals going to go? Who is going to start taking in these animals? Where is the community going to go when they find a stray animal?” Wolo asked.

Earlier this month, the remains of animals were also found in a pond behind the shelter.

Workers say their response to the incident shows things are changing for the better.

“When these remains were discovered, we did what we thought was right. We reached out to the District Attorney,” Wolo said.

Managers say they’re working everyday to clean-up old messes.

They rely on the public for donations and adoptions and say that help is needed now more than ever.

With new monthly training for workers, managers encourage people to stop by and see the difference for themselves.

“You can come up, you can ask questions. You can get a tour of this facility. I would be more than happy to personally do that for everybody who has any doubts in their mind,” Wolo said.

Managers of this facility say they do no put down any animals because of space constraints but acknowledge that might mean some people are put on a waiting list.

They also say if an animal has to be euthanized the procedure is done by a vet.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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