Animal rights advocates held a protest at a Newmarket shelter on Friday after former staff alleged animals were needlessly euthanized at the OSPCA.

Three former employees of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter say they were fired after making the allegations.

“I was nervous to speak up, but the animals can’t speak for themselves,” former employee Allison Rusk told CityNews.

Progressive-Conservative MPP Frank Klees first raised alarm bells about the same shelter after a ringworm outbreak in 2010 led to a mass cull.

“We have a repeat now, at the same shelter, at what took place nearly a year and a half ago,” he said.

Ringworm is a parasitic skin fungus that is contagious among humans and highly contagious in animals. The problem resulted in the decision to put down all 350 dogs, cats and other small animals at the facility in 2010.

In a statement issued Thursday, the OSPCA said “it’s not unusual in a shelter environment to be treating animals with health concerns.

“Many animals are quite ill or suffering from the effects of neglect or abuse when they come here for care,” senior manager Allison Cross said.

Reform Advocates for Animal Welfare (RAAW) organized Friday’s rally. They’re calling for the CEO, the board of directors, all board members and upper management to be replaced.