Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shakeup at Humane Society

The Niagara Falls Review - March 13, 2008


In a shakeup at the Niagara Falls Humane Society, the board of directors has removed the general manager and an inspector from their jobs and the board itself has stepped in as interim manager at the shelter.

Its first act Wednesday: To approve Rebecca Proulx's application to adopt the Blue Heeler/Lab dog named Mace.

The changes come on the heels of a Review report last week that detailed Proulx's quest to adopt Mace and another dog - and her rejection by the humane society, despite her long list of favourable recommendations and the fact she and her husband own a farm with room for the dog to run and a heated barn where it would sleep.

The front-page article sparked criticism of the humane society in the community.

The board met Tuesday evening and yesterday, general manager Valerie Brown and inspector Don Horvath were relieved of their duties effective immediately.

Neither Brown nor Horvath could be reached Wednesday. Shelter staff did not offer contact numbers for them.

A statement released by the board of directors said its actions were "prompted by its desire to strengthen and improve the humane society's relationships with the residents of the city, their elected representatives, city staff and the humane society's employees."

The board's first priority "will remain to make the world a better place for animals."
The Review article detailed the lengths Proulx went to in attempting to adopt two dogs (one of which has since been adopted to another home).

After her application was turned down by Brown, Proulx provided her with numerous letters of reference from friends, clients and professionals in the business.

She also contacted the Fort Erie animal shelter for an assessment of her property.

All agreed Proulx's farm was more than adequate to accommodate another dog.

Proulx had already adopted two dogs from the Fort Erie animal shelter, Diesel and Oliver, and was looking to adopt another one or two dogs from the Niagara Falls Humane Society. After she was denied, Proulx contact The Review with her story.

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