Charlottesville speaks on CASPCA concerns during city council meeting
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -The Board of Directors at the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA hired an independent law firm, McGuirewoods, to investigate concerns against workplace culture and animal treatment at the facility. As a result of the investigation, CASPCA CEO Angie Gunter was placed on administrative leave.
One group, CASPCA Concerns, says there’s still more to be done.
“We’re asking for a restructuring of the board,” says Sarah Lloyd. Lloyd was initially a volunteer and then was employed by the SPCA, resigned, then became a volunteer again before she was fired from the organization. She’s calling for change at the shelter.
“We’re asking because they give almost $300,000 a year to the shelter because it serves the pound, and the Board of Supervisors gives almost $700,000,” Lloyd said.
On Monday, April 17, four members of CASPCA Concerns spoke in front of the Charlottesville City Council. The Deputy City Manager for Operations, Sam Sanders, spoke up about the investigation.
“I immediately began having conversations with the county to take a look at what they’ve been up to to make sure that we were aligning our process with theirs,” Sanders said.
Sanders and Albemarle County have been working together to discuss and look into the inspection reports and asked for corrective action responses. Both were signed by the City Manager and County Executive.
“We provided back to the SPCA in ensuring that we felt they needed to do some additional things that included identifying the implementation of a records policy and procedures to go along with that so that they would not have that repeat finding,” Sanders said.
The Deputy City Manager for Operations admits Charlottesville’s connection with the SPCA has not been strong in recent years.
“Our animal control officer position has been vacant for quite some time, so we have not really maintained the connection with the facility as we should have,” Sanders said.
Meanwhile, Lloyd with CAPCA Concerns is hoping the city obtains the investigation results from the private law firm, McGuireWoods, to share the details with the public. She says, “We think the community deserves to see what they found. Not just hide it.”
Charlottesville is working with Albemarle County to set up a site visit to see what changes that have been implemented.
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