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Griffin Pond Animal Shelter Director Suspended

SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP -- Public outrage over the operations at an animal shelter has led to some major changes.

Allegations made online about an animal shelter in Lackawanna County grew too loud for its board members to ignore. The board of Griffin Pond Animal Shelter decided to suspend the executive director with pay while they look into the allegations that are being made.

Griffin Pond Animal Shelter in South Abington Township is in the middle of a $3 million renovation.

Posts on social media along with a petition with thousands of signatures call into question the merits of this renovation and other alleged misconduct.

The shelter operated without its executive director on the one-year anniversary of breaking ground on its $3 million expansion.

The merits of the expansion and accusations that shelter dogs were unnecessarily euthanized have made the rounds on social media this week.

A petition on the topic has garnered more than 8,000 signatures.

The creator writes, "after the recent euthanizing of Midge, it's time that we remove the director of Griffin Pond from this position. "

Griffin Pond board members tell Newswatch 16 that while members investigate whether euthanizations followed policy and whether any misconduct took place, Ed Florentino, the shelter's executive director, will be on suspended with pay.

Florentino is the target of many of the online comments. A Facebook group calls for his firing.

Board members also tell Newswatch 16 that employees at the shelter near Clarks Summit will play a part in the investigation. The board set up a whistleblower hotline so that employees can share their comments about the shelter's leadership without fear of retaliation.

We were not able to get in touch with Florentino on Wednesday.

The Griffin Pond board members we talked to told us they expect their investigation to last about a month. The shelter posted on its Facebook page earlier in the day that a fundraiser planned for this weekend has been rescheduled until the end of September.

21 comments

  • Gordon Ramsay

    The whole operation should be shut down, the animals farmed out to foster homes, and every single slip of paper scrutinized.

  • Jill

    My daughters worked for him and witnessed first hand how this monster Ed Florentino would pound aggressively on the cages, wrile the dogs up and then authorize it to be euthanized.

  • Christine

    This is such BullShit! I never liked this place, such a cost to adopt and now we find out that the money wasn’t even used to take of these animals in a humane way. That 3 million dollars could have gone to take care of these pets not make more room for what? Offices? Disgusting.

    • El Ma

      CHRISTINE, this is a sad fact about human beings – whenever there is money to be had, they’ll embezzle whatever they can before they’re caught. I have been involved with a number of non-profit organizations and they can be some of the WORST where misappropriation of funds and policy violations are concerned. It’s a serious challenge for anyone who has empathy and compassion because these are supposed to be “trusted” agencies and organizations. (sigh) The voiceless and vulnerable suffer while the devious and nefarious seem to thrive.

  • wannabeinformed

    According to the fb post they didn’t allow volunteers to walk any of the dogs since May!!!
    That’s 4 !!!!! Months for those poor animals to sit in a cage, where they have to poop, eat and sleep!! That’s animal abuse, imo!
    I agree with the other poster about the rude people who work there. Heaven forbid one has a question!!! Plus the adoption fees are horrendous! And the dogs are not even up to date on vaccinations, nor are they spayed/neutered. They give you this ” certificate” for a vet, just to find out, that on top of paying for office visit, vaccinations, NOW one also has to pay at least another TWO HUNDRED BUCKS for the spay/neuter. Ad it all up, you’re close to $500 by the time you’re done ” adopting” a special needs animal, because most of them are messed up… they’re not house trained at all ( how could they!!? They’re caged up for month on end!!), some show aggression towards a certain group… ( children, men, women, other animals..etc etc). Some can be re trained, some will never be successful members of a family. After ” adopting” and spending hundreds of dollars on a dog, whose only meaning in life was to piss all over the house, on beds, couches, tables, you name it, he pissed on it, and trying to bite my kids in the face, whenever they got remotely close, so yeah, after months of ” trying” we gave up!!!!! And got a puppy instead. Never again!!!!!

    • Janey

      Obviously, the dogs were walked by someone , the staff. I agree that of the staff are rude but the others are amazing! It’s not the dogs fault that people are irresponsible shitheads who abandon and neglect them!

    • Summer

      A little bitter aren’t you? The only requirement after adoption is a rabies shot, roughly $30. The cert covers the neuter. Maybe if the dog pissed all over you should have taken him out more, as far as special needs, seems like you couldn’t afford the vet bills so it’s probably better the “messed up” dog isn’t in your home! Your comment about the dogs not going out for a month at a time is ridiculous! Seems like you didn’t have the brain to teach the dog and you took the easy way out, and trying to bite your kids face,that was priceless. No shelter would adopt out a dog like that dummy., it’s a liability. People like you who adopt and can’t handle the financial responsibilities and then list all the excuses as to why it’s the dogs fault are why animals get euthanized, god love your kids!!!! They would have had a more intelligent role model if you had kept the dog, good luck with the puppy, hopefully it doesn’t turn out as stupid as you!

      • El Ma

        SUMMER, your statement about what a shelter will and will not adopt out is 100% and patently untrue. I volunteered at animal shelters and I was expected to “encourage” visitors to either adopt or donate, and one of the things that I saw with my own eyes was paid employees telling compassionate and empathetic visitors that the animal that they were interested in was scheduled to be euthanized the following day, which was absolutely false. After witnessing a host of ethical and moral infractions, I left and never returned.

        I cannot “save” every lost cat or abandoned puppy. I simply can’t. And, no organization can accomplish that, either, regardless of HOW well-meaning the intent began. Start adding money into a desperate situation, and people do very odd and unethical things – I’ve seen it, myself.

    • Suzie

      Sounds like your ‘messed up’ financially! That vet bill must have been a real hurt piece! Quick to blame the dog, who you probably returned and got euthanized! Seems like if you had more common sense you would have been able to teach the dog but hey, you can only work with the tools that you’re given, right? Hopefully your kids don’t piss all over!

      • El Ma

        SUZIE, while I commend your passion on this subject, this is a common problem with pets that are adopted from shelters. Dogs are problematic in that they are the sum total of their experiences and will react, accordingly, to specific triggers, like ball caps or canes, perhaps. These reactions are instinct-based, not behavioral issues that can be counseled away. Vet care is very expensive, training is also expensive, and it’s NOT the fault of the animal that they have experienced such a dreadful life. But, it’s also not the fault of the adoptive family, either – they take the word of the shelter employees as trusted information, and this is not always the case.

        This Director resigned because of his own actions, not because people posted unkind (or, untrue) comments on a social media site. This man will be investigated, as will the suspended animal control officer. What’s even more likely is that the whole facility and its practices are going to be placed under the proverbial microscope and heads are going to roll, as a result.

        Always follow the money to find the answers.

  • Ralph

    The PA Attorney Generals office needs to be asked to Investigate this Non for Profit, To see if all Present and Past Donations and Funding were used exclusively for this Shelter and the Animals within its walls. A lot of People, and Groups over the years have donated a lot of their time, and Money to this Shelter and the animals there, and if any diversion of those funds happened in any way, by anyone, they should be held accountable.

      • Karma

        I agree, the woman in charge of the funds was imprisoned for embezzlement and altering records to cover it from her previous employers! People like her seek out non profit places like this to swindle some more money, she’s a joke!

  • Hope Moffitt

    Power and money… This is what this type of thing usually revolves around.. an outside agency really should do an audit of where the funds are really going because you know when people are in an organization past their terms it’s very easy to quote unquote misappropriate funds to themselves.

  • Alpa Chino

    And everytime I’ve been up there I’m greeted by rude, annoyed staff.. Maybe they can also be euthanized… Imagine how those miserable people treat the animals for real.. Scary thought

    • Kraven Morehead

      News flash… People are more important than animals. I can’t believe that a post calling for euthanizing a person for essentially misappropriation of money gets likes at all. Charge him with theft or cruelty to animals and be done with it.

      • Pat Webb

        When they start euthanizing people for space, Then come ell me people are more important than animals. Until then I will always stand up for he voiceless.

      • Kristi

        Honestly, nonhuman PERSONS are just as important as humans. Without them, we would not exist, yet this is how we treat them. I am sure many nonhuman persons have higher intelligence levels than most of the general public, they just can’t speak English, so obviously they aren’t as important…

Comments are closed.