The fired Ontario SPCA employee at the centre of an ugly euthanasia debate says she followed ringworm treatment instructions to the letter, yet has been made the “scapegoat” in the deaths of hundreds of animals.
“All the procedures and protocols suggested by senior management and veterinary staff were implemented and the shelter staff worked very hard to contain the outbreak,” said former shelter manager Denise Stephenson.
“I believe in the OSPCA and what it stands for, but I will not be their scapegoat.”
The society appears to be blaming “human error” on the part of Stephenson, who was fired 10 days ago, for the mass euthanasia. She said she was dismissed “with no real reason given to me.”
But a devastated Stephenson, who had worked for the OSPCA for more than five years, said she did exactly as she was told to try and bring the outbreak under control.
“At no time did anyone in the senior management team express any concerns with respect to the management of the ringworm outbreak,” she said, adding the shelter has experienced such outbreaks before “and we beat it.”
Stephenson said she is heartbroken for all involved: the dead animals, the volunteers and staff. She is also concerned about the mounting groundswell of criticism aimed against the society.
“Today is a really sad day,” she said, choking back tears.
*Taken from the Toronto Star.