A watchdog agency says the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is run by "wannabe cops" who waste money and abuse their power.
The State Commission of Investigation published a report into the agency on Friday. It says that having private citizens staff the part-time policing unit is "illogical, ineffective" and makes the system vulnerable to abuse.
NJ.com reports that the NJSPCA called the report a "hatchet job" and says it denigrates staffers and volunteers who work to protect animals.
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," NJSPCA President Steve Shatkin said in a statement.
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 commission also recommended changes on how the state handles animal cruelty cases in 2000, but that advice wasn't followed.