TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is run by “wannabe cops” who waste money and abuse their power, a state watchdog agency said in a Friday report disputed by the group.

The State Commission of Investigation’s report said that having private citizens staff the part-time policing unit is “illogical, ineffective” and makes the system vulnerable to abuse.

The NJSPCA called the report a “hatchet job” and said it denigrates staffers and volunteers who work to protect animals, NJ.com reported .

“Each and every day, millions of dollars in taxpayer funds are wasted in every corner of the state,” Steve Shatkin, the group’s president, said in a statement. “Yet the SCI appears obsessed with the role and mission of the NJSPCA, a public law enforcement agency that has not received one dollar in taxpayer funds from the State of New Jersey in 150 years.”

The group had sued unsuccessfully to block the release of the report, which found that it’s spent more than $100,000 fighting public records requests over five years.

The report says that the group can take as long as a month to respond to abuse reports and says that humane officers had out-of-date firearm permits and some even pulled people over for traffic stops. It notes that the group lost its nonprofit status because of accounting problems. The group regained tax-exempt status this summer.

The report is a follow-up to one the agency published in 2000 that recommended changes on how the state handles animal cruelty cases.


Information from: NJ Advance Media.

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