New Jersey Probe Finds Fault, Again, With State SCPA

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — A New Jersey agency issues a scathing report about the state SPCA, and the organization suggests it’s wasting taxpayer money.

A 62-page report from the State Commission of Investigation harkens back to an earlier probe of the SPCA over 15 years ago, and maintains most of the problems cited then still exist now.

SCI spokeswoman Kathy Riley says the organization could take care of most of the state’s concerns by following the first report’s suggestions.

While many concerns deal with how money is spent, the top issue centers on how animal cruelty laws are enforced by the SPCA.

Riley told KYW Newsradio that the report recommended “the removal of the enforcement role from the SPCA’s and reassigning that function to government. It seems like a simple clear-cut fix because you already have animal control officers in every municipality in New Jersey.”

The report suggested that many animal cruelty officers consider themselves “wannabe” cops who sometimes exceed their authority and calls for a task force to determine the SPCA’s future role.

The SPCA says animal control is one thing, animal cruelty is another, and the cops don’t want that job

“One hundred-fifty years ago, when the legislature created us as a public agency, our task and sole task is the enforcement of New Jersey’s animal cruelty statutes,” SPCA spokesman Matt Stanton said. “That’s why we exist.”

He says the state legislature in 2006 addressed the first SCI report by enacting a law governing their organization, and left enforcement of animal cruelty laws within their jurisdiction.

Stanton suggests if the SCI wants to change that, they should seek a change in state law.

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