Humane Society Accused of Animal Abuse

New Hampshire Humane Society denies allegations of euthanizing animals with treatable diseases and neutering animals that were still awake.

The New Hampshire Humane Society is denying allegations of animal mistreatment coming to light in a lawsuit filed by its former executive director who was fired last year.

Mary Di Maria claims that inside the Humane Society in Laconia, she witnessed the full-time the veterinarian euthanizing animals that had treatable diseases, neutering kittens while they were still awake and leaving stray dogs to suffer for days.

Di Maria was fired in 2013 after serving four years as the executive director. She claims she was ousted by the board of directors as retaliation for raising concerns about the mistreatment of animals.

She couldn't be reached for comment Monday and her lawyer declined an interview.

In the 22-page complaint filed in Belknap Superior Court, Di Maria claims to have witnessed the mistreatment first-hand, saying the full-time veterinarian was euthanizing dogs that had treatable diseases and performing surgeries while animals were still partly awake.

Di Maria also says last November the veterinarian failed to provide pain medication in a timely manner, allowing a stray dog to suffer for five days.

The suit names the humane society, seven of its current or former directors and the full-time veterinarian.

The defendants in this case have not yet been served an official summons, which is why Humane Society Managing Director Marylee Gorham-Waterman declined to speak on camera.

Instead, the New Hampshire Humane Society's Board of Directors issued a statement saying, in part, "The New Hampshire Humane Society's Board of Directors denies all the allegations set forth in Mary Di Maria's Superior Court filing. Upon being serviced notice by The Court, and under the advice of counsel, it is the New Hampshire Board of Directors' opinion that all allegations will be found baseless and without merit."

According to court papers, the summons must be issued by the end of October.

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