AL animal group probes claims of director abuse

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A Birmingham area animal welfare group has fired its director amid allegations of animal cruelty.

John Saxon, an attorney for The Emergency Animal Rescue Service, or TEARS, said a letter of termination was delivered to executive director Terra Cotromano.

Cotromano is also the organization's founder.

The Birmingham News reports Thursday there were questions about expenditures and the treatment of animals at the facility located in Mulga.

The paper's attempts to reach Cotromano were unsuccessful.

Lee Anne Bennett is vice president of the group's board and estimated there are about 200 animals at the location, mostly dogs.

Bennett said she believes many of the cats are suffering from untreated respiratory infections.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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