Claims of neglect prompt animal shelter audit in Hempstead, Long Island

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Kristin Thorne has the latest details.

For almost as long as the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter has been in existence it's been shrouded in controversy.

The latest allegations by animal rights groups include animal neglect, unnecessary deaths and unqualified staff at the shelter.

The Nassau County Comptroller announced Monday that he's ordering an audit of the finances and operations of the facility.

"We have a number of people coming to us where life and death are involved," said George Maragos, Nassau County Comptroller. "I think we have the responsibility to do this expeditiously and that's what we've tried to do here."

The town supervisor says Maragos is just playing politics.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino released a statement to Eyewitness News:
"Having been rejected by his newly-adopted political party's leadership, George Maragos is trying to inject life into his failing campaign for County Executive by playing politics with the town's animal shelter.

The town points to a September 2016 state inspection. It shows the shelter operating at satisfactory levels.

But people who used to volunteer with the shelter say the issues are real.

"If you walk into that shelter at any time and ask to be part of the reading program or the training program, it will never happen because those programs have been demolished," said Diane Madden, Hope for Hempstead Shelter.

Maragos says the audit is set to begin in two weeks and will take several months to complete. He says if town officials aren't cooperative they and the records will have to be subpoenaed.
Related Topics:
petsanimalsshelternassau county newslong island newsHempstead
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