There is a ground swell of criticism in Cecil County as allegations of animal abuse at the local SPCA reach a fever pitch.
The accusations are from volunteers, animal lovers and former employees like Teresa Vanscoy.
"The things I saw, animals bones being broken while they were alive, their head slammed. Animals stomped on so hard their eyes popped out of their socket. What I saw was horrible."
Vanscoy was the number two at the SPCA nearly 10 years ago.
She finally came forward after a public uprising became more and more apparent on a state delegate's blog. Vanscoy says she can't hold in what she saw any longer.
"He hit the dog in the head with a hammer continuously; three or four times. I mean hard. I mean I heard bones crack. I mean I hear things, it was horrible really."
Vanscoy was told her position at the SPCA was eliminated, she thinks it was because she saw too much. She’s not the only one.
More recent employees like Erin Miller resigned this past July because, as a vet assistant, she says she had enough of the non sterilized procedures, botched operations and finally, the two separate shootings of dogs.
"Instead of being sedated he was taken out back and shot. It went through his chest," recalled Miller.
Others say kittens were let go in a field and picked off with a 22.
Volunteers found shell casings on the ground of SPCA property and took photos of bullet holes in the shed.
"lt's been corroborated two and three times now from people who were there,” said Delegate Mike Smigiel.
Smigiel says the complaints number too many to ignore. Also an attorney, he started taking sworn affidavits and launched a blog where he says more than 200 people have written in with similar accusations.
It is a movement that culminated with a candle light vigil outside the county commission this week and a call for an investigation including the shelter's 674 thousand dollar taxpayer budget.
"You start to believe at some point that everybody can't be making this up, that everybody can't be lying," said the lawmaker.
The allegations of animal abuse at the SPCA in Cecil County are horrific, but the staff there says they're completely unfounded and a day after we started gathering this story we were allowed access inside the facility.
Volunteer Kate Benner answered our questions. We were shown the cat room and the dog cages, the animals seemed to well cared. Benner says the allegations we were told were downright lies.
"I think the only thing going on is the people making the allegations because none of it is founded on truth. Absolutely none of it!"
The SPCA's formal response is detailed in a two page statement from the board president. Repeated requests for an on camera interview with President Nancy Schwerzler or Director Jeanne Deeming were denied.
After asking a final time, we were told our time inside the SPCA was through.
The statement you can read on this link says the SPCA does not shoot its animals and pledged full cooperation with the state attorney general's investigation, which it too, asked to be done.
It’s an investigation that a growing number of people are anxious to see if there is fire beneath all this smoke.