Humane Society Board Issues Self-serving Statement Showing Its Still In Denial

April 6, 2010
By

In the first public statement to its donors and supporters, the Connecticut Humane Society today sent out a lengthy email showing it is still in denial of what is going on.

At the bottom of my comments you will see  the complete statement.

Now I will dissect the statement, including what information is misleading and what crucial information was left out to permit the board, and its news chairman Chris White to spin its tale. I am focusing on the claims made by the subcommittee, which White chaired to investigate claims of wrongdoing. By the way, White has refused all offers to debate his findings.

* The committee found no evidence whatsoever that there is or was any financial misconduct at the Society. The committee and the Society’s independent auditors all found no wrongdoing. The Society has always taken extremely seriously the trust placed in it by our many donors; your funds are not wasted. The Society has, in fact, been honored by Charity Navigator as a 4-star charity, a rarely-bestowed designation, largely based upon the high percentage of donated funds that are used on animal care and the low percentage that goes to administrative expenses. The Society is proud of this designation, and how diligent it is in not wasting donated funds. The committee believes that these accusations against the Society were unfounded.

The committee did not look very hard and simply accepted everything that Richard Johnston, the disgraced director and chairman, told them. For instance it accepted as just fine Johnston’s claim that there was nothing wrong in sending his liquor bills to the society since the liquor was only drunk by him when entertaining donors or potential donors. Does that leave anyone out? Also, what investigation did the committee conduct to clear Johnston of using paid staff to care for his daughter for years while she was growing up or using society staff and money to run his 1994 unsuccessful state senato run?

* The committee discussed in detail the accusations of conflict of interest against Board members who have done business with the Society. An independent auditing firm was hired to investigate and their findings mirrored what we already knew to be true. In all cases the prices charged by Board members were at or below (and in many cases dramatically below) fair market value.  Several Board members remarked that they were genuinely proud that they were able to save the Society so many donated dollars by providing goods and services at or below cost.

The Attorney General in a report he released last week, noted that while no conflict of interest was found, the appearance of a conflict could damage the credibility of the institution. He suggested we add a clause to our policies and procedures that any contract that goes to a Board member also be sent out to bid to at least two qualified competitors to ensure the lowest prices are obtained. We agree completely and will address the issue at our next Board meeting.

White may be very proud that his magazine and newspapers received more than $30,000 in no bid contracts. Half the board members or their businesses received no bid contracts. Since there were no bids, no one can prove that the six saved the society a penny. It can be argued that a board member from a law firm who votes to contest a union formation knowing that his law firm will then receive additional business may have an actual conflict even if he excused himself on hiring his law firm.

* The charges leveled against the Society regarding the improper euthanasia of animals were extremely troubling to the committee and the Board. Analysis of animal euthanasia numbers over the last 10 years shows that the numbers have fluctuated in a narrow range each year, and contrary to the charges, have not varied significantly. The committee agreed however that a more modern euthanasia policy was needed to ensure that no animal is ever euthanized when not absolutely necessary. The most important change in the new policy implemented last month was that all decisions are made by a four or five-person panel. The committee believes that this is a far better policy, creating more accountability and more assurance that a mistake is not made.

I don’t have data to dispute this, but former and present staff members might.

* The committee studied the fines levied by OSHA, and the broader issue of safety in the workplace. All of the OSHA citations were relatively minor, and all have been corrected. OSHA and the Society have settled the complaint and the Society has paid a small fine. While the committee believes that in general the Society is a safe environment in which to work, improvements can always be made. Improvements to the safety of the workplace at all three shelters will be a continuing area of investigation for the Board of Directors.

What is missing here is that Johnston and his managers attempted to foil OSHA’s initial inspection on Sept. 11, 2009 by distracting the inspectors while dangerous chemicals in unlabeled bottles were hidden. It was only after I revealed this that OSHA came back in January and reinspected and found the issues. They are not minor for the workers who were hurt. The reason that the fine was small was because the workers asked that the animals not be made to suffer for Johnston’s behavior.

* Board governance was an important issue for the committee. After consulting with legal counsel, the committee and Board agreed to modernize the Society’s bylaws. There will be a variety of changes, but the most significant will be to separate the two roles of Board President and Executive Director. The committee and Board feel that the bylaws should require those roles be filled by two individuals. These bylaw changes will be made in the next two months.

What needs to be done is to replace all board members who received money for themselves or for their businesses as well as term limits and the requirement that at least two members of the Coalition For Change, which was responsible for bringing to light the issues that forced Johnston to resign, be put on the board.

* The committee believes that staff morale has improved over the last several months. It is the intention of the Board to continue to nurture a dialogue with staff so that all involved can have their voices heard and their ideas and concerns addressed, as permitted under labor laws. Regular staff meetings will be held Society-wide, opportunities will be made for the staff to meet the Board, and a mechanism will be developed for staff to propose ideas or raise concerns in a safe and secure environment. The committee believes strongly in fostering an environment of openness and cooperation between staff, management and the Board.

Nonsense. If you want to know what kind of communication White has with people, read my column from Monday about his emails. White and the rest of the board had made no attempts over the past 20 years to get to know the staff. White, who was on the board for 15 years, was totally clueless about the society’s operations until he was put in charge of the committee. If the board wants to be open, how about making public the settlement it made with Johnston when he quit?

FULL STATEMENT

There has been a great deal of change happening rapidly at the Connecticut Humane Society recently, and the public and media’s interest has been rightfully captured. As one of the oldest and most respected charitable institutions in the state, the Society’s operations are closely followed. The Board appreciates the support and patience from all those who care deeply about the institution and the care of animals. We are facing many challenges, but feel that this difficult period will ultimately result in a revitalized, stronger organization.

We wanted to take the opportunity to speak directly to all of you who are so vital to the Society’s future, and hopefully answer some of your questions and put some of your concerns to rest. The entire Board and administration are working very hard to move the Society in the right direction. Many changes have already occurred, many will come in the next few months, and many more will be addressed over the longer-term.

The first major challenge facing the Board was to ensure a smooth transition leading up to and immediately following the departure of the Society’s long-time President and Director.

We feel a strong management team is in place with Ray Gasecki and Joanne Freeman at the helm. A national search for a new Executive Director has begun. We hope to have a new Executive Director in place by the end of summer. We are also examining staffing and management in general, and another important step is the hiring of a Personnel Director. That process has also begun.

The Subcommittee’s Report
A subcommittee appointed in January by the Board issued a report last month. Over the course of the two-month investigation, the committee met 10 times and reported to the Board three times. It met with some three dozen current and former employees and volunteers, read more than 200 pages of documents and testimony and learned from dozens of additional interested parties via telephone, email and internet postings. The committee met with legal counsel, and interviewed current and former members of the CHS administration in an effort to hear from all sides.
It was formed to focus on several major issues facing the Society, including charges of financial misconduct, allegations of the improper euthanasia of animals, and investigations by the Attorney General, OSHA, and the National Labor Relations Board. The committee also addressed issues of Board governance and staff morale. We would like to make some of the committee’s important findings public.

* The committee found no evidence whatsoever that there is or was any financial misconduct at the Society. The committee and the Society’s independent auditors all found no wrongdoing. The Society has always taken extremely seriously the trust placed in it by our many donors; your funds are not wasted. The Society has, in fact, been honored by Charity Navigator as a 4-star charity, a rarely-bestowed designation, largely based upon the high percentage of donated funds that are used on animal care and the low percentage that goes to administrative expenses. The Society is proud of this designation, and how diligent it is in not wasting donated funds. The committee believes that these accusations against the Society were unfounded.

* The committee discussed in detail the accusations of conflict of interest against Board members who have done business with the Society. An independent auditing firm was hired to investigate and their findings mirrored what we already knew to be true. In all cases the prices charged by Board members were at or below (and in many cases dramatically below) fair market value.  Several Board members remarked that they were genuinely proud that they were able to save the Society so many donated dollars by providing goods and services at or below cost.

The Attorney General in a report he released last week, noted that while no conflict of interest was found, the appearance of a conflict could damage the credibility of the institution. He suggested we add a clause to our policies and procedures that any contract that goes to a Board member also be sent out to bid to at least two qualified competitors to ensure the lowest prices are obtained. We agree completely and will address the issue at our next Board meeting.

* The charges leveled against the Society regarding the improper euthanasia of animals were extremely troubling to the committee and the Board. Analysis of animal euthanasia numbers over the last 10 years shows that the numbers have fluctuated in a narrow range each year, and contrary to the charges, have not varied significantly. The committee agreed however that a more modern euthanasia policy was needed to ensure that no animal is ever euthanized when not absolutely necessary. The most important change in the new policy implemented last month was that all decisions are made by a four or five-person panel. The committee believes that this is a far better policy, creating more accountability and more assurance that a mistake is not made.

* The committee studied the fines levied by OSHA, and the broader issue of safety in the workplace. All of the OSHA citations were relatively minor, and all have been corrected. OSHA and the Society have settled the complaint and the Society has paid a small fine. While the committee believes that in general the Society is a safe environment in which to work, improvements can always be made. Improvements to the safety of the workplace at all three shelters will be a continuing area of investigation for the Board of Directors.

* Board governance was an important issue for the committee. After consulting with legal counsel, the committee and Board agreed to modernize the Society’s bylaws. There will be a variety of changes, but the most significant will be to separate the two roles of Board President and Executive Director. The committee and Board feel that the bylaws should require those roles be filled by two individuals. These bylaw changes will be made in the next two months.

* The committee believes that staff morale has improved over the last several months. It is the intention of the Board to continue to nurture a dialogue with staff so that all involved can have their voices heard and their ideas and concerns addressed, as permitted under labor laws. Regular staff meetings will be held Society-wide, opportunities will be made for the staff to meet the Board, and a mechanism will be developed for staff to propose ideas or raise concerns in a safe and secure environment. The committee believes strongly in fostering an environment of openness and cooperation between staff, management and the Board.

* The Board has or will be addressing many other issues in the coming months. A personnel committee of the Board has been formed, animal care levels will be closely evaluated and staff added if necessary, and the Society will begin to work more closely with other animal rescue and welfare organizations in the state.

The Board’s Work
This is just some of what the Board has been addressing, and we will continue to examine all aspects of the organization with an eye to improving systems, management, and of course, animal care.  We cannot do all the work alone; we need the assistance and input from all our major constituencies: staff, volunteers and donors. We want and need to hear from you. We want to know your thoughts and ideas. Correspondence can be sent to the Board at 701 Russell Road Newington, CT 06111. We have set up an off-network e-mail account so that questions or comments can be submitted without being viewed by management. That new account is CHScomments@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from many of you soon.

For 129 years The Connecticut Humane Society has been dedicated to humanity and kindness. The Board’s sincere wish and primary focus will be to ensure that the Society continues its mission in an exemplary manner for another 129 years. We thank our many loyal supporters, donors, volunteers and staff for their concern for the care and well being of all animals in Connecticut as well as their dedication to the institution that continues to do so much good for so many.

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35 Responses to Humane Society Board Issues Self-serving Statement Showing Its Still In Denial

  1. uberVU - social comments on April 6, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by greatlakesenv: Humane Society Board Issues Statement On Recent Turmoil http://bit.ly/boFBGT #safety #OSHA…

  2. Now a former volunteer on April 6, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    There are many things that stand out in this latest statement.

    One huge thing sticks on to ME personally as a tenured volunteer. The claim that they listened to three dozen past and present staff, volunteer’s and donors….Id like to see that list of people. I’d like to see if two of the last two manager’s (Kelly and Randy) were among them. I wonder if the previous PR person (Jodi) was among them. I can’t help but wonder if ANY of the five Unlawfully Fired employee’s(Bridget, Maureen, Ron, Amanda or Lynn) were among those interviewed. THESE are people who should have been atop that list of people to hear from. Why did these manager’s leave? What is the story from the fired employee’s point of view? There are tenured volunteer’s that I am very good friends with and none of us were contacted? I don’t necessarily need names published but I’d like someone from the coalition to see that list JUST so it can be justified. Seems like the same ol same ol double talk if you ask me.

    • Ex Employee on April 6, 2010 at 10:22 pm

      NOT ONE of the amimal care staff has ever been approached never mind spoken to by any member of the board. How can they still deny all the facts that have been proven. I’ve never known our AJ to lie about anything. Chris White and the board members do it every time they open thier mouths. I’ll be sure to stop by and see you on Friday Chris and I will have a list of things for you to deny!

      • Now a former volunteer on April 6, 2010 at 11:48 pm

        My guess is those people who were under RJ’s spell were the ones interviewed and I guess the board thinks this is a general consensus of what is REALLY going on. I can only shake my head and say….I can’t believe they are so naive!!!

        • Darkside on April 7, 2010 at 6:28 am

          They aren’t naive…they don’t care to know anything about shelter life, they were board membersfor their own personal gain. Never once in my time spent employed at CHS did I ever meet a board member…never saw anyone walk through the shelter speaking with staff or caring about how a shelter operates or attend any fundraising event. Why is that? Richard didn’t want them involved…as always, he is the controller, dictates the rules and everyone follows…all the way to the end. When Richard hires his managers he chooses those that utimately he can manipulate and control. He doesn’t want managers to have confidance or good leadership skills. Why would he choose board members any differently?

  3. omd on April 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Just another cover up… Hiring an auditor after the books have been fixed. This becomes a bigger scandal everyday. Keep lying!

  4. Catwoman on April 7, 2010 at 4:17 am

    Interesting how they mention that the nationwide search for a new Executive Director is underway. There have been no job postings in the prominent national publications such as the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Philanthropy Journal, or FoundationCenter. There have also been no listings in local publications such as the Hartford Courant. In fact, the job search does not appear to be listed anywhere. They could be going through an executive search firm on an anonymous basis, but that hardly seems to be in the spirit of open and honest communication that they claim to be embracing. How comprehensive can this search be if it is done under the cloak of anonymity?

  5. Greyhound lover on April 7, 2010 at 7:33 am

    How long do they think this charade can continue? They must believe that the public, and coalition members…who are lawyers, teachers, accountants, rescue workers, trained animal care professionals, etc, are complete morons.
    Do they think they can use the Johnston tactic of intimidating the staff and the word doctoring and manipulation of what the public hears and knows?
    These are rhetorical questions….
    This has to stop and this statement from the corrupt BOD just highlights the incompetence of the their “committee”

  6. Totally ridiculous on April 7, 2010 at 7:42 am

    I’m new to this.
    I heard a bunch of coworkers talking about the society at lunch. I couldn’t believe it was true.
    But after reading all the articles, all the proof the employees and Atty General came up with, I’m a firm believer.
    I can’t be believe the board would be so, plainly put, dumb. How could they issues such a false statement?
    And from what my coworkers said the two guys now running the show, president of the society and president of the board, the place is headed in a much worse direction than with Johnston at the helm. They said they knew people who worked there and that the new president at the society was the CFO or IT guy or something, and that he was useless, and had no animal background or clue as to what he is doing.
    I mean really this is insane.

    • Darkside on April 7, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      Insanity is only one word to describe it…and the longer you’re employed at CHS it becomes a learned behavior in order to survive.

    • Lindsay on April 7, 2010 at 10:46 pm

      None of the “high-ups” have ever had any animal experience. Someone with animal experience would have never allowed the suffering to occur because animal people tend to be overly compassionate. Even if not as “money savvy” things would be much different.

      • Greyhound lover on April 8, 2010 at 6:55 am

        That’s how Johnston was able to control his employees. He always hired executives that would do his bidding; people who were totally not qualified for their jobs and would do anything to keep them.
        Also, it is looked down upon to have compassion for the animals!!!
        Honestly, if you challenge Joanne Lincoln, Kitty Baker, or previously Tabitha’s decisions you would actually get int trouble!
        Even now with their “all encompassing” euthanasia panel, most of the fantastic staff that were “allowed” to finally speak on behalf of the animals are unheard…and they are now euthanizing animals WHEN THE BUILDING IS CLOSED!
        After hours folks, that’s right.
        The subcommittee’s release was extremely disappointing and being a former employee and volunteer I can assure you they are only patronizing us.
        This is disgrace…

  7. Shanna on April 7, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I am as disheartened with the subcommittee’s findings as everyone else. However I do have one experience I would like to share:

    Early this week I emailed Chris White regarding my personal concerns. I was not accusatory but I was assertive. I advised Mr. White of past management “techniques” wherein management bullies staff into talking home animals or letting them die. He assured me this is not an option and forwarded my concerns to Dr. Freeman who responded in kind.

    Other issues raised did not receive quite as amiable a response, but for the most part the response I received mirrored the tone of the email I sent.

    I am sharing this to illustrate that the Board will be, to a point, communicative. I remain frustrated with the continued lack of transparency and refusal to admit any shortcoming/wrong doing, but I really do think the Board is growing more and more convinced that nothing they do will be considered right, or good enough, and that this frustration is causing them to turn a deaf ear to our concerns.

    I am not defending the Board. I have not forgotten that is was under their watch my husband was poisoned because of their managers’ basic failure to comprehend high school chemistry and the continued refusal to spend a little more for nontoxic cleaning supplies. Nor have I forgotten that CHS still insists this MONTHS-long sickness was magically NOT work related.

    A lot of unforgivable transgressions occurred under their watch. I just wanted to share my experience with Mr. White and that is my opinion the Board really does want to do well by CHS (their lack of transparency notwithstanding).

    My litmus test will be White’s visit to CHS Friday. If White sits alone upstairs while Management insists they “just can’t spare anyone” or makes people use their personal time to interface with White I’ll know all I need to about his intentions for the future of CHS.

    • We need you on April 7, 2010 at 10:42 am

      A very well-considered and eloquent analysis of the whole situation! Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    • Social Justice For All on April 7, 2010 at 6:38 pm

      Dr. Freeman? Joann Freeman, the office manager of Fox clinic? Please clarify.

  8. Another point of view on April 7, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Shanna’s statement was thoughtful and honest, and I appreciate that. I don’t know anyone who works or worked at the CHS, but I adopted two animals from them and I’ve met one of the board members. I honestly can’t see what’s so “disheartening” about the findings in this statement, except that Mr. Gombossy and those who have commented seem to wish the BOD had admitted to some horrible fault. Johnston resigned. Give the board a chance. Things don’t happen overnight, but they’ve already made changes (like the new euthanasia policy, which is the only item Mr. Gombossy has no comment on but still manages to insinuate is something negative).

    The person I met is not the evil, corrupt, monster you’re trying to believe the BOD are (a round-table of table of super-villains plotting to take over the world), but in fact an incredibly kind, honest and generous person. Please, please, please open your eyes. People are so quick to lay blame; things don’t go bad overnight and they can’t be fixed overnight. Please try to see things from another point of view.

    • JayJay on April 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm

      You said it yourself you don’t know anyone who works there so you have only the super shinny happy front that’s the CHS puts up and is still trying to maintain even now. Everything that’s has changed is only the result of George’s articles and the collations constant push for positive change. The new euthanasia policy is a joke made of the people who have been accused of creating the euthanasia problem to start with. Its like saying don’t worry about the chickens folks we hired a fox to guard them.

    • Darkside on April 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      From an outsiders view you couldn’t possibly understand what goes on within the walls of CHS. Even during the hiring process you believe you will be working for this great organization all the while never feeling the true suffocating, toxic environment you are getting yourself into. It’s bad enough that naturally the shelter environment is quite emotional but then to be harrassed by management is a whole other stressor. Most of that is due to the effort that is made by managment, Richard and most of all Alicia, the Public Relations Director to never portray the negative side to the public. I also believe that the BOD (in the past) had no idea of the reasons or the number of staff that left CHS because many leave and are not as honest as they should be during their “exit” interview. The feeling is that being honest wouldn’t change things, nothing does and you’re just so happy to be removing yourself of the toxicity that you leave peacefully. I have so much admiration for those who stood up for what they believed in and really wanted to change things..especially, Cathy Bridgett and Maureen. It took an enormous amount of courage to do what they did being that most everyone feared Richard and those managers that followed his wishes. Not to mention that there was no one above Richard to voice their concerns. The system was really quite stifling. You just can’t understand the situation unless you were a part of it….

    • now a former volunteer on April 7, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      I am always willing to see the other point of view and I’ve had a few email conversations with members of the board. It started out fantastic but then the blinders went on. I TOTALLY agree that these things can’t be fixed overnight and it will take time and trust me, the coalition knows that but CHS and it’s board need to know that we won’t tire of the fight and will keep plugging along for the greater good.

      The disheartening part of this whole thing that I see is that the board CLAIMS they are listening to everyone but yet the ones who’s opinions would REALLY give credibility are not being saught out. Why haven’t any of the fired employee’s been asked about anything. Obviously it’s because there will be a difference of opinion from what Management told them.

      When the Euthanasia numbers were presented for Jan and Feb, they were dismissed as running about even with the past….I’m sorry but to put down 43 animals in that time in what you claim to be a LOW KILL shelter is reason to be alarmed. Just because the numbers mirror the past doesn’t mean it’s still right. ANimals are brought to CHS for a reason and that reason is not to die on a medical table because the system let them down.

    • Mer on May 12, 2010 at 3:02 pm

      “I don’t know anyone who works or worked at the CHS” ergo you have zero data upon which to base your opinion. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal and has no dispositive value. The Colaition/those speaking out here, on the other hand, all echo eachothers experiences, extending back over ten years. To think they all got together to invent, map out, and memorize a ten plus year history of abuse and transgressions is far more unlikely than your equally hyperbolic assertion that they claim the BOD is a group of magnomanical evil-doers. However, it doesn’t stretch the imagination to reason the Board was soft and lazy and happy to believe whatever Johnston told them – keeping their fingers in their ears and their blinders on the rest of the time.

      Given how bad things were, they should be mocked and ridiculed, shamed and removed. Sorry, but they should. The only reason ANYTHING has happened is because outsiders forced the hand of the Board by going to the media and exposing their ineptitude. They can pat themselves on the back all they want for all the time they gave, fine, but they still did a lousy job.

  9. anony_mouse on April 7, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Some points:

    Charity Navigator gave a four-star rating based on Mr. Johnston’s misrepresented salary. If the totality of his salary had been disclosed, CHS would NOT have received that award.

    Euthanasia numbers stay within a consistent margin, as they have for ten years. Wow. Ten years. Does Chris White drive a ten year old car? Does Richard Johnston? Do Kitty and Elizabeth earn the same salary they did ten years ago? CHS should be striving for progress. The euthanasia numbers should be dropping every year.

    And also, provide evidence of this claim. I have seen figures from the last six months of 2009, I’ve held those figures in my hand and remembered many of the animals represented by the impersonal black print on plain white paper. I know, for a fact, that euthanasia numbers had risen from the previous year significantly. So please, if you are refute these claims, provide the proper citation.

    To dismiss the OSHA violations as “relatively minor” is insulting to everyone who has been injured or made ill while working at CHS. Also, in all my years as a member of the workforce, and I’ve worked for many companies, this is the first employer I have EVER had that has been fined by OSHA. So, to receive any sort of fine at all seems like a pretty big deal to me. Do not tell me that my, and my coworker’s illnesses and injuries are “relatively minor,” because, I assure you, they don’t feel that way to us.

    Please, Mr. White and the Board of Directors, do the right thing. Admit that there have been problems. Admit that mistakes were made. Just be honest with us. We are all willing to work towards the common goal of a better future for CHS, but an honest acceptance of the past has to be the first step.

    • Now a former volunteer on April 11, 2010 at 9:42 am

      Just a few comments from this outsider….who used to be an insider….

      I agree with the OSHA statement. The thing is, whether they are deemed Minor or not doesn’t negate the fact that they exist. It doesnt matter if there is ONE major violation or a BUNCH of little (minor) ones. It proves that the managers are not capable of managing the facility.

      This argument about the Euthanasia numbers is forever ongoing. Let me point this out….You cannot compare this year to last year in numbers because there are different variables involved. If you take % numbers then sure you can do that. The fact of the matter is that in 2008 and 2009 CHS were talking in shipments from the South so CHS had MANY more dogs coming into the building. The shipments could be anywhere from 20-70 dogs I’d imagine and that was at least once a month. How can you compare the numbers now if CHS stopped getting shipments in early to mid 2009?. For example if 10 dogs are euthanised in one month and CHS took in 200 dogs, you can’t compare that to 10 dogs being put down the next year in the same month if only 70 dogs came in. It’s simple analysis!

      • Mer on May 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm

        I think the important euthanasia point is that the BOD was looking at the total. They did not break out medical euthansias (which are BETTER than the State average) from the “behavioral” euthanasias. Average an A and an F and you get a C which is still passing.

        One, they are fudging the numbers for their purpose, two, the CHS BOD should strive better for a C average, I think.

  10. greenrock76 on April 12, 2010 at 6:32 am

    It is my understanding that the Office of the Attorney General is responsible for the supervision of all charities in Connecticut. See Conn.Gen. Stat. Sec. 3-125 which states: “… he shall represent the public interest in the protection of any gifts, legacies or devises intended for public or charitable purposes….” So a better question that should be asked is where was Attorney Blumenthal when all of this was going on? He was probably out looking for a television camera to make some statement to make it appear as if he is doing a great job. Or maybe he was out giving talks on subjects not within his jurisdiction such as healthcare reform. If he had paid attention to his job mabe this problem would not have occurred.

    • Concerned too on April 14, 2010 at 3:02 pm

      You can’t blame this all on one person. This has been going on for decades. Everyone is at fault for allowing this to continue for years. I believe if we stop pointing fingers we can get to the real problems and fix them fast. Chs needs to reach out to other organizations for assistance. I can only hope the animals are getting the proper treatment they deserve!

  11. Concerned too on April 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Just wanted to tell everyone CHS is having a event today, please go and support the animals.

  12. Ex Employee on May 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I just wanted to update the public and the BOD of what is happening at CHS. Lets start with the management, over 100 complaints have been made against Kitty’s continual harrassment of staff and poor management skills.
    Even the new management that has been brought in have tried to voice thier concerns about her and they have been reprimanded several times because of it. Everytime she knows that her decisions might be questioned she runs to her managers and tells them “her” side of what happened first and of course they are quick to take her side and reassure her that they “have her back”. She continues to play favorites with staff that agree with her ever move. Her daughter’s boyfriend was hired recently and even though the CHS employee handbook says that if a family member is hired that they should not be managed by that relative, he was quickly moved to her side and of course gets to do what ever he wants. He even is allowed overtime when everyone else gets in trouble if the punch in 5 minutes early. He was also given a weekend day off when employees that have been there for 3+ years still have never been offered a weekend day off even when they have asked for it. Employees are being discriminated against on a daily basis and it can not continue! Karen is a joke as a manager and needs to get her head out of Kitty’s ass and start listening to what the other managers and staff are saying, this goes for Joanne Freeman as well. Once again over 100 people can’t be wrong. CHS STILL DOESN’T GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The BOD has showed thier support over and over again by doing NOTHING! Why did they even meet with us if they had NO intentions on even trying to correct these issues? I think it is time to contact channel 30 again so they can add this to thier story.

    • Volunteer on May 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      Kitty’s daughter’s boyfriend is not a relative. So while he may get “preferential treatment” because of who he is, it is not a policy violation.

    • Now a former volunteer on May 3, 2010 at 8:44 pm

      It’s a sad state of affairs when a place like CHS which used to be a great place to work, is in such turmoil because of the management team in place. I still have the faith that they will get theirs in the long run. I can’t wait for the Union to clean some clocks in that place because they think they are so damn untouchable. YOu can’t treat people poorly and not get burned in the long run. Sometime, someplace…someone is gonna kick ya to the curb and you will see what its like to be on the outside. Most of the fired employee’s have moved on and while they miss working with the animals, they are being treated like they deserve to be treated…WITH RESPECT! It’s all about Karma, can’t wait for it to bite back…

      • OMD on May 5, 2010 at 9:39 pm

        ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!!! BOD GET UR HEADS OUT OFF YOURS BUTTS! Step up here!!!! People want to believe that changes have been made!!!Have they??????? The DRAMA is out of control!!! You have all the proof you need… The fight is getting dirty… Too many people and animals are paying for your failure to move forward. This blog is proof that your management is out of control!!! It’s in black and white… Again step up!

        • Mayor Of Dogtown on May 6, 2010 at 8:04 am

          The board has met with a group of the workers and yet they still believe that the workers are wrong? Why would they side with manager’s JUST because they are managers? They’ve been given written statements that they still choose not to believe.

          The new Executive Director is going to have their hands full so I hope they are ready for the challenge. I can’t wait for that day when these so called managers are shown the door because of the heinous way they treat people. The new director will be shocked that things have been allowed to go on in this manner for so long and more shocked to think that these managers think it’s okay to treat people this way. Wait til the it goes to court folks…your going to look like bafoons for the whole public to see and you will be taken down! I sure hope for your sake it happens but there is no doubt in my mind that your lawyers will wait it out and settle at the last minute because they KNOW they have no shot of winning this. You can’t fight the National Labor Relations Board when they have evidence of unfair terminations.

  13. Concerned Citizen on May 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    They are at it again. There is a wonderful dog, Brady, that they are going to put down in the next day or two due to that POS “behavioralist” JoanneL > I use that term very losely. If anyone still cares or anyone out there is listening, STOP ANY AND ALL SUPPORT FOR CHS, it is just your local neighborhood puppy mill…quit believing the lie that is CHS, the Mgrs. and BOD there care no more for animal welfare than KFC cares for its chickens. If you need additional proof, look at how they treat their human staff. Due us all a favor, turn the needle on yourselves and make the world a better place!

    • enough is enough on May 3, 2010 at 3:29 pm

      There is NO reason for Brady to be put down! He is a great dog. I wish the behaviorist would spend some time working with him instead of teaching her own personal dog how to skate board when it is her JOB to work with CHS dogs to make them more adoptable. They are not giving Brady any chance of being adopted. I feel sorry for the staff and volunteers who actually have been working with Brady and see what a greatt dog he truely is, because in the end the commity will make thier decision and Brady will die anyway, after hours of course. The only changes I’m seeing here is that it is getting worse at this already disfunctional shelter.

    • Volunteer on May 3, 2010 at 4:04 pm

      Okay, I completely agree about Brady. That is heartbreaking but unfortunately not surprising. But please please please do not let your anger result in making comments such as comparing CHS to a puppy mill. First of all, that doesn’t make any sense, and second of all, please do not dissuade the public from adopting from CHS. The animals are innocent in this and at the end of the day – they still need homes. Take a breath before posting such things.

    • Now a former volunteer on May 3, 2010 at 8:41 pm

      concerned, you have a right to be concerned but asking people to not adopt from CHS prevents the innocent animals from getting adopted. This is not what you intended I’m sure but think about what your asking, these poor animals didn’t request to come to CHS, they got stuck there so they should not be punished.

      I don’t know Brady but I can only hope that the “committee” sticks to it’s position and just because JL doesn’t particularly like this dog, it still has a job to do and that job is to do the RIGHT THING not what JL thinks is right, while she’s done some great things with some dogs, she could just be wrong on this one. Even if she is right about Brady, are there signs that they are seeking out a rescue for him? Foster? Extra time to help him adjust to people, to dogs and to the shelter?????





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