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.