Connecticut Humane Society Critics Take Their Case To The Media

January 20, 2010

A group of former Connecticut Humane Society workers and their supporters finally got the attention of traditional media today by setting up a press conference in East Hartford complete with former staff, volunteers and donors for the media to interview. (you can see a portion of the conference on the video near the bottom of the home page).

Newspapers, the Associated Press and television and radio stations had ignored complaints up until this morning, even though state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said two weeks ago he had opened an investigation into claims that Society President and Chairman Richard Johnston was using the nonprofit agency for some of his personal bills.

And as you know, I have been writing columns about the issues during the past two weeks, including how Johnston allegedly helped hide dangerous chemicals during an OSHA inspection last September.

The Courant was the first traditional media outlet to cover the controversy in a story this morning, which including the first formal statement on behalf of the society’s board of directors. A statement earlier was provided on behalf of Johnston, a lawyer, a real estate agent and a former state senator, denying in general all accusations of wrongdoing and threatening to sue people for libel.

CHS Press conference

Ivona Koppel, a volunteer animal rescue worker, speaks at the press conference. She is joined by two fired staff members: Maureen Lord, right, and Bridget Karchere, left.

Leslie White, a board member for three years, has been appointed the board’s spokeswoman. She refused to answer any questions this morning, including about how many people the society employs.

However, she provided this written statement that says that the board is confident that Johnston has done nothing wrong, but that the board will review the charges.

“The purpose of the Connecticut Humane Society is to promote humanity and kindness, and to prevent cruelty to man and animals,” it says.

“The Society has been pursuing this mission since its founding in the late nineteenth century and has established a preeminent reputation for the care of animals.

“We have every confidence that the conduct of the Society and its President has been forthright, professional and of the utmost integrity at all times, and we regret the unfortunate and generally anonymous charges that have been leveled against it and him.

“We intend fully to review all of these allegations to reassure ourselves and our community that the Society continues to stand for integrity and fair treatment.”

Cheryl Rice, former public relations director for the Human society, now does PR for the people that want to have its President and Chairman fired. Former society workers and volunteers are at her side.

Cheryl Rice, former public relations director for the Humane Society, now does public relations for the people who want to have its president and chairman fired. Former society workers and volunteers are at her side.

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59 Responses to Connecticut Humane Society Critics Take Their Case To The Media

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by George Gombossy, maureenlord. maureenlord said: RT @ctwatchdog Connecticut Human Society Critics Take Their Case To The Media via @AddToAny […]

  2. Alpha Dog on January 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Johnston has promoted his 2 loyal team leaders to assistant managers. Guess he likes the way they treat the employees. These new managers do not even have the proper education, never mind any management skills. They spend thier day in the office coming up with ways to punish and harass the innocent hard working animal care givers.

    • Concerned Citizen on January 20, 2010 at 7:15 pm

      There is more to it than that. Please pay attention AG’s office. The only reason they were promoted out of the staff ranks is because “managers” can’t participate in the Union (which the employees voted on and passed). Making these folks “managers’ negates their ability to participate in the Union. Classic RJ “stack the deck” maneuver. It is a known fact that immediately following the notification of Union voting proceedings, the CHS leadership began designating a variety of staff employee roles as “managers”.

      • Alpha Dog on January 20, 2010 at 8:24 pm

        It is strange that both these now called assistant managers have been employed by CHS for many years and just now they are becoming managers? One was an adoption counsler a year ago, then became a team leader and now is an assistant manager.
        This is definately RBJ’s way of trying to stop union activity. The last thing CHS needed was more micro managers, too many chiefs and not enough indians!

        • windsofchange on January 21, 2010 at 8:51 pm

          The sad thing is there are now almost more chiefs than indians, and if these 2 have there way there will be. It really shows how inept the management of CHS really is. They are taking away every last little bit of joy from all of us… they have no business dealing with the sacred and beautiful lives of the animals we “the indians” live for.

  3. Mer on January 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    What’s funny is the job openings were never posted. Nor were any of the staff with higher education or supervisory or management experience invited to apply.

    There is however a job posting open for an animal care/facilities maintenance position. Apparently CHS thinks those jobs require the same skill set, or perhaps they no longer care whether an employee has the appropriate skill set to do their job. It would certainly explain the above decision.

  4. Shock & Awe on January 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Interesting that the board’s “spokesperson” had nothing to say. Is she pleading the 5th? How is it that the board which claims to know what’s going on at CHS can’t even comment on the number of employees there? I, however, can comment and I can attest to the fact that there are far too few employees to responsibly care for the number of animals at each of the CHS shelters.

    • anony mouse on January 20, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      With the promotions of two of the cruelest supervisors at CHS to managerial status, there are now more managers on any given weekday than there are animal care workers. But I’m sure that the animals appreciate being in the presence of soooooooo many managers.

      • Alpha Dog on January 20, 2010 at 8:45 pm

        It is too bad that they don’t assist with the cleaning and care of the animals. I feel sorry for the present staff and all the poor poor animals of which now many more will become the victims of this decision by being euthanized:(

  5. Lindsay on January 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    It’s amazing to me that some of these board memberrs have been around for 30 years and not a single one has spent any length of time out on the floor with the kennel staff or offering a day to help out. There are banks and corporations that fund volunteer days for their employees to take the day off and volunteer at the shelter. Yet how many times have any of the board members become involved? I’d be interested to know how many of them have animals, and where they came from, because although policy states that all adopted animals go through a process to determine if the potential home is a good fit, none of Mr. J’s acquaintances are required to follow such protocols. I know my foster puppy who I tube fed and raised from 1wk old til he was almost 4 months went to a friend of Mr. J’s and I wasn’t satisfied that he was the appropriate home, and normally as a foster I would have had final say, but in this case being a “special” adoption, what I felt was overruled by a manager and off he went to a home where I was told he would be living in an outdoor kennel. Humane Society policy clearly states that no dog shall ever be adopted out to be an “outdoor” dog.

  6. Concerned Citizen on January 20, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    While we are on the subject of the BOD. They seem very much like a cat in the litterbox covering up_____. Loved Kathyann Cowles’ statement of how great things were. Fortunately for her, she comes accross as a humble architect giving freely of her precious time. Interesting that she self-admits $11,000 in fees paid to her by CHS. Funny, I have not noticed any new shelters or runs in recent memory. If she really cared, all her time would be free. Good thing for her that she is not that versed in legal ethics and that CHS as a non-profit is not subject to the SEC. Principals (BOD) and Execs. of a firm have a fiduciary duty to not self-deal. Nice how “for fee” work comes her way from the same BOD sheis a member of. Also fortunate that the CHS does not have to have full discloser of their financials. How convenient hugh? Time to see if we can identify some additonal BOD members. We should alert folks to not do business with their companies.

    • Alpha Dog on January 20, 2010 at 7:35 pm

      You can find thier names on the CHS website, also listed on thier calenders.

      • Concerned Citizen on January 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm

        Great, let’s get them up here on the boards including any businesses they own. Public should boycott their establishments or firms.

  7. H. on January 20, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    George, any updates on how the Osha inspection and the board meeting went?

  8. Concerned Citizen on January 20, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Congratulations Coalition for Change! Great job today having the courage to get this out in the public. We are proud of you and stand fully behind you. I also stand behind the loyal, hardworking staff of CHS – you know who you are and the great work that you do. C-o-C! C-o-C! C-o-C!

  9. Yet another former on January 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    is there somewhere we can view the entire press conference?

    • Concerned too on January 24, 2010 at 3:36 am

      Go to and search for connecticut humane society press conference, there’s a short version at it. But if anyone knows where to find the full interview please let me know.

  10. Lynzee & Malfoy on January 20, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    These promotions show that Mr. Johnston feels it’s his way or no way. Is he thumbing his nose at all of us? Is he afraid to give answers to the general public? We (the public) have a right to know how this non-profit agency is run.t. We should have no dictators here, the animals and the workers need a structure that is solid and good for the welfare of all. It starts at the bottom and filters up. Remember Mr. Johnston, without your workers you have nothing. Are you and your board members going to care for all those wonderful animals when you have no one left? If the board feels that there is no wrong doing then show us. Open your board meetings to the general public. Give everyone the opportunity to see first hand how YOU run the business of animal care.

  11. Yet another former on January 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    You know what hasn’t even come up? The fact that on holidays when the Shelter is closed for business, these animal care workers go in and work for a few hours to care for the animals. YES we’re talking Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years included. They don’t get to have the whole day off, what would happen to the animals if they didn’t come in? Is that when the President would come in and take care of the animals? NOPE, I’m not even sure any of the manager’s would sign up to work those days. It ALWAYS falls to the animal care workers. These people need to be supported by the public! The public who make the donations need to stand up and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We want numbers published. We want to know how many animals are being put down and we want to be able to attend the board meetings. We have the right!

  12. Shock & Awe on January 21, 2010 at 12:44 am

    “Transparency”… Funny word. “Do the right thing”…Funny phrase. Both of which are thrown around at CHS like ironic mantras. If either were applied to the organization, the public would have access to accurate euthanasia numbers, staff to animal ratios, allocation of funds, etc. in an annual report. Most reputable animal welfare agencies provide this info to their donors to illustrate how those hard earned dollars are being put to use. It’s time for some true transparency here, but it’s up to the public to demand that these records be made available! Rise up and demand to know where your money is going! For too long now there has been little to no accountability.

    The power structure comprised of the CHS board and Richard Johnston as their Chairman must be held accountable. There are several good intentioned and well meaning board members who have tried to bring positive change to the organization but they have been met with stiff resistance. Now is the time for them to stand up for what is right and to help us topple a dictatorship which has long put its personal gains above those of the animals and those who care for them.

    The fact that R.J. is the president of CHS as well as the Chairman of the Board is the very definition of conflict of interest. It’s time to put that conflict to rest. Power corrupts…Absolute power corrupts absolutely. “Do the right thing” Richard Johnston and step down from your position; you’ve had a long and prosperous run.

  13. Current Employee on January 21, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Let’s face it, Leslie. The reason many of the complaints and comments are “anonymous” is because they are being made by current employees. I would gladly give you my name and a statement, if I was guaranteed that I would not be fired or bullied for standing up with the truth. But that is not the way Richard Johnston operates. It is commonly known that he holds personal vendettas against anybody who disagrees with him. Maybe you should start interviewing all the staff, confidentially. You might be surprised at what you’ll find out.

  14. Yet another former on January 21, 2010 at 8:41 am

    It seems evident that even the board of directors is bullied, otherwise they would have paid attention to this when the story first broke. This leads joe public to believe they KNOW they are bullied and afraid of the man so therefore kept silent. A board of directors has a job to protect the organization. Any board who’s members allowed their Chairman to also be the president of the organization needs to be reappointed. How do you keep checks and balances if the one person in charge, is his own boss? Gotta seperate church and state to keep it honest. Hurray for the coalition!

  15. volunteer on January 21, 2010 at 9:13 am

    The story is all over the news today.
    I think George deserves a big THANK YOU for keeping it alive.

  16. Mer on January 21, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Congratulations to Bridget, Maureen and the Coalition! A giant thank you to George for his continued efforts and to Cheryl for organizing the conference! Good work!

  17. ConcernedCitizen on January 21, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Concerned Citizen is correct- we should boycott the businesses of all of the directors. The only reason most of the directors are on the board in the first place is because it looks good to the community and may help in attracting clients/customers. If we take that advantage away from them, they will no longer want to be on the board, or will think twice about keeping Johnston. AS LONG AS JOHNSTON IS PRESIDENT, THERE SHOULD BE A STIGMA ATTACHED TO BEING ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AT THE CONNECTICUT HUMANE SOCIETY. BOYCOTT THEIR BUSINESSES.

  18. Hard Worker on January 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    This is a disgrace. I’ve worked at the ct humane society for many years. I’m finally speaking up. I could tell you some things that would make you sick. I sure hope that AG’s office and the board members take a good look at what we are dealing with here. Speaking of board members, are they really going to help this situation or are they just going to do what Mr. J tells them to do anyway? In the 7 years I’ve worked there I have only heard about 3 board members, and met only 2 of them. Where are these people, and why don’t they interact with the staff and animals? When I first started at CHS we had 8 or more staff members working each in incoming and in adoption, now it’s no more than 3/4 people on either side on a good day.(This was before the dog shipment from down south too.) I’ve also worked in many departments and I’ve seen first hand how things are handled. It’s all true about how Mr. J flips out and has a manager write you up if you don’t agree with them, or they hound you until you do something wrong in their eyes. I don’t understand how the two very people who are now appointed to assisant managers are going along with this.These people complained about the same things, until they got promotions and became in charge. I guess power does change people. Shame on you. I think we should hire a full staff in the kennels before we hire for management. And I can’t even keep count on how many people CHS bullied, written up and demoted. And why does Mr.J comes in to work when he wants to and sneaks up the back stairs to go to his office, hiding? This isn’t something new he’s been doing this for years now. Also true about how he never leashes his dogs and puts them in a running vechile, or puts animals on hold for himself or friends, (nothing like bending to rules), His daughter was watched by staff members too, during work time. And how can this business thrive if they only take in a limited amount of animals per day? They have open cages and kennels available. Maybe if CHS had a full staff we can help animals in CT again. I can go on and on. I want to say thank you to all of the staff who came forward and a special thanks to all that continue the wonderful work at CHS. GOOD JOB!

    • Hard Worker on January 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm

      Ps. To address the new assisant managers:
      Do you remember what happened to the other managers who tried to make it better for CHS and disagreed with what they were told to do?
      Don’t forget about that when Mr. J is done with you, just like he did with Joanne.

  19. Lindsay on January 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Who was present during the anit-union meeting Richard held where he said “Strike” signs would be ugly and not be a good image for the CHS to have? Man do I wish I was there for that one!

    • Current Employee on January 23, 2010 at 8:26 am

      I was at the meeting, and I was appalled to see that he used the garbage can that is used to dispose of pet’s ashes from the crematorium to make his “point” that strikers would have to stand out in the cold over trash-can fires to stay warm. Does the man have no respect?

      • volunteer on January 23, 2010 at 9:29 pm

        Are you serious? Is the Union rep. helping you guys at all? He’s using typical Union busting tactics. He’s probably going to offer a bonus or something to workers who don’t join, only to fire them later. Call the Union, they can usually get the medias attention.

      • Alpha Dog on January 23, 2010 at 11:10 pm

        Yes, he is just that sick!

        • Alpha Dog on January 23, 2010 at 11:12 pm

          Come to think of it, the Union isn’t helping the existing employees at all.

          • to alpha on January 24, 2010 at 7:14 pm

            Get rid of the Machinists, they are more concerned with P&W
            Call AFSME Local 4 in New Britain, they have excellent organizers and will help you through the process
            It’s not to late

  20. Gioia on January 21, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Where to begin. Reading all of these articles and posts over the past couple of weeks has been a surreal experience for me. Yet another “former” is now speaking up, though vicariously through most of you. Count me as one of the many victims of dick’s tyrannical rule, one who has been on the receiving end of his harrassment, threats and manipulations. For those of you who may possess some doubt over whether or not all of these allegations could possibly be true, may any and all doubt be removed as more and more truths are exposed and proven. And my sincerest hope is that the AG’s investigation finally unravels and reveals the destruction that this individual and his henchmen have allowed to take place at this venerable institution for well over two decades.

    It’s interesting: I can deduce from many of your posts where you referenced your timeline association with CHS that I cannot possibly know you personally. Others of you–I have figured out who you are with your certain particular references as could only be known by ones who were there–as indeed we certainly once worked together at CHS. The bottom line: You have all spoken the absolute truth in your descriptions of the events that have taken place, as these same occurrences were taking place at another time as well, under the same leadership (or should I say, regime). What you have described as present-day activities (atrocities) was the same in the past when I was there. Same struggles, same demeaning treatment, same denigration, same sub-human behavior by the puppet master and his cronies.

    Who among you remembers when paranoid dick ordered all of the doors to the adoption rooms be kept open at all times. Remember the reason why? He was trying to prevent employees and volunteers from talking about him. He reasoned that with the doors shut, we might freely go about trashing him, while with the doors wide open, that would put a stop to it. Who remembers him lurking the halls, standing outside of those rooms, trying to ensure that no one would talk about him? Do you remember the countless times we had to try to explain to potential adopters, why in the name of all that is logical and sane, we could not shut those doors, even when privacy was seeked by the adopters themselves, and even when dogs and cats both would try to wander away from those small rooms? And all of this because Mr Paranoia couldn’t stand the thought of his lowly kennel workers disparaging him. The irony is none of us actually gave a crap about him and therefore his worries were unfounded. We had neither the time nor desire to indulge in disparaging him, although God knows he deserved it then and now.

    Here’s another one for the memory lane archives: How many times did a dog, who was placed on “On Hold” status, have to be suddenly and inexplicably taken off of that status, just so either he or one of the board members or some “friend” could have first shot at the dog? When an animal was placed on “On Hold” status, that was to give the potential adopter time enough to perhaps buy certain necessary items for the pet, or possibly to allow the CHS to conduct a home inspection prior to releasing the pet, or to possibly allow for an “interaction” between other pets in the household and/or with other human members of the household. Imagine the horror of having to explain to someone who had already been “cleared” to be allowed to adopt one of our charges, that the placement could now not take place afterall. Imagine if you were that adopter. Wouldn’t you feel rage, embarrassment, disbelief?

    None of that mattered to dick. It was then and apparently still is now, all about him. Answer is: Selfish, exploitative, ruthless, scammer, revenge seeker. Question is: Who is Richard Johnston.

    The daughter who was always allowed to roam the building was a nuisance. Staffers were expected to care for her, regardless of what work they needed to get done. Just drop everything to care for (his daughter), instead of having her in daycare. When she was an infant, he had a large playpen with bedding, toys and the dog du jour all placed in his large office. But when she aroused from her nap, or when the dog had to go out, it was expected that an employee take care of all of that.

    Ok–here’s another one. Those of you who were there, remember the time (there were many times, but this one in particular) when rage enveloped him (in the old building), and he proceeded to take a bunch of metal folding chairs that were stacked in the big meeting room and then threw them all to the floor in a fit. God only knows the reason why that took place, but witnesses who actually saw him do this were forced to recant, in front of him, what they actually saw with their own eyes. Unbelievable.

    I’m disappointed that the current team leaders are being described as having joined his camp. That wasn’t always the case; if that’s indeed happened now, you guys need to think back to how it was with others before you. It will only be a matter of time before he goes after you too. Right now, you are necessary and expedient for him. Some day, however, he’ll have no further use for you or you’ll become a liability. Think back–you know who you are and you know who I’m referencing….and ultimately, as history has proven with this guy and his generals, even those who once were considered the best and hardest working were put in a position where they could no longer stomach all of the wrongs, and sickened with despair, simply and finally parted ways. And I remember this too–some of you he has already struck out against–in times past. Remember who came to your defense? Could that possibly be why you even still have a job there?

    This, everyone, is just a small glimpse of what it really was/is like at the CHS. One final thought: Any of you out there reading this who are former employees who were in a position of being “in the know”, please consider stepping forward and contacting the AG’s office with the aim of revealing what you know….especially if you have any insight into the financials of then or now. You are the people who could move this thing forward and put an end to King Richard’s reign of terror. Just saying.

    • windsofchange on January 21, 2010 at 10:32 pm

      Very, very well put….thank you for taking the time to share a few of the many injustices Mr. J has inflicted on the most dedicated and hard working people I have ever met. One more comment just for the sake of arguement….with the price of gas, the need to cut down on emissions being released into the atmosphere, and the bottom line…wouldn’t it be more “respectful” of Dickie to drive a brand new…..Corolla…..?

    • Alpha Dog on January 21, 2010 at 10:42 pm

      Thank You, you took the words right of my mouth! Well Done!

    • kjh on January 22, 2010 at 10:35 am

      Gioia, very well put! I don’t believe we worked together although I suspect I may have been the lucky one to follow in your footsteps! It is so amazing that no matter the tine period that someone was employed at CHS the dynamics of the environment must have existed throughout RBJ’s leadership. The craziest thing is that I was warned by almost all the staff within months of my employment the history of RBJ and what you need to do to survive. I thought, this is crazy…I will never survive here and what a disappointment from the image that is portrayed to the public. I seriously hope there is new leadership for CHS and the everyone can move forward.

  21. Alpha Dog on January 21, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Does anyone know how many employees came and went, lets just say for this past year?

    • Former Employee on January 22, 2010 at 11:20 am

      I doubt accurate statistics would be available. I was one of the employees who resigned in 2009 because of the culture at CHS. I was given an exit interview (which I learned was not a common practice) on my last day and I was very honest with the HR Manager about my reasons for leaving. I can guarantee you that information from exit interviews never makes its way to board members.

    • Lindsay on February 2, 2010 at 6:47 pm

      I can tell you from the time I started in April ’06-March ’07 I saw TWENTY FOUR people leave in an 11 month span. That type of turnover rate is unheard of. And 90% of these people were not just there to pass the time, these were well educated animal experts in various fields of animal science, all of whom left for better working conditions.

  22. Concerened on January 22, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I wanted to let everyone know that Richard has threatened to take away all of the employees benefits if this continues.

    • InTheKnow on January 22, 2010 at 4:54 am

      Will this include his and his boards bennies too. Like his health insurance, vacation, company car, gas allowence etc. Harassment in the workplace is illegal and he still continues. It’s out in the open now, Richard. To many people are aware. Has anyone called the labor department? Although NPO’s do not have to adhere to some policies, they do have to adhere to most. Keep it in the medias face.. don’t let this man win. All threats should be logged and the labor board called. In my opinion, he’s gone way to far with this new threat.

  23. Mer on January 22, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Richard is threatening to terminate employee benefits, installing surveillance equipment and spending, literally, thousands of dollars a DAY on legal fees fighting the union.

    Anyone know how much time and/or money the CHS has devoted to Haiti?

    • InTheKnow on January 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm

      Does not the “Board” have to vote on this new equiptment? And don’t you worry about how much is coming out of his pocket for his legal fees. It’s his personal pocket he has to draw that from. All you have to do is keep this hot and keep coming forward with your complaints. If Johnston is spending all that cash on legal fees that just shows all of us that he’s very concerned that everything is finally catching up on him.
      As far as they Westport construction workers being put on a plane to Richards own property.. That is the truth. People spoke to those workers and they were not happy as well as their spouses. It was when the Wesport shelter was being renovated awhile back.. They literally had only a few hours to ready themselves for the flight.
      He can not.. and will not continue to torment, harass, intimidate the good people who work NOT FOR RICHARD JOHNSTON or his board but for the people of CT who have supported these shelters over many years, be workers or contributors. And last but most important for the beautiful creatures to which this organization was initiated. How many people left their loved pets sadly and hoping for a good home only to have them put to death because of his tactics.

      • Concerened on January 22, 2010 at 3:26 pm

        When people surrender their animals to the Humane Society, some will bring along the pet’s belongings. They are told that a care package of the animal’s things will be set aside for when the animals get adopted they will be sent home with it. Not true. These items are usually thrown away or SOLD to the public or they will send it home with the adopter for an EXTRA fee! There are also times when the team leaders, now assistant managers, would take them home for their own animals. Richard has a thing about clutter, he demands that things be thrown away all of the time, stuff like donated crates and bedding for the animals. Food that is donated isn’t even allowed to be used for CHS animals. Instead it sits in the garage for months until it expires or the managers throw it away. Sad, isn’t it?

        • Mer on January 22, 2010 at 3:53 pm

          I used to love hearing stories from CHS workers about the animals and looking at all the pictures they would have on their cell phones of the various animals. There was always a sucess story to tell.

          Over the last 6-9 months I can think of maybe 2 dogs I heard any personal stories about. 2.

          Think about it – the people who spend 7 hours a day in the building, so-called “animal care” workers, no longer have enough time with the actual animals to have any thing to tell about. I don’t know what management has them doing, but interacting with homeless pets clearly isn’t on the list.

          Imagine how neglected the dogs and cats must feel.

    • anony mouse on January 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm

      Richard will fire every animal caregiver, bankrupt the entire humane society, eliminate health benefits and pensions, and board up the windows before he steps down. He has to be removed by the AG or the BOD.

      • Concerened on January 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm

        You are exactly right, the AG needs to do what is right for the workers and the animals. This poor excuse for a human needs to be removed from being involved with CHS all together and be prosocuted to the fullest extent of the law! How could he possibly get away with ALL of this?

        • InTheKnow on January 22, 2010 at 7:46 pm

          He won’t.. He can’t because he will lose everything. The AG needs to do his job.. Don’t care who he knows.. what he knows and who his friends are. I can not believe that the board isnt standing up for the people involved.. I think they’re all corrupt now. And I still want to know who sold all these CHS properties and what that mans cut was. The Stamford shelter was doing just fine and he screwed that up but houses were built and I am so sure being a real estate agent he’s still making money off the sale and re-sale of those homes. That property on Pepper Ridge Rd was donated to the CHS to be used by the CHS. He got his cut.. don’t you doubt that. Now.. Keep hounding the AG, the press and get the CT Labor Department involved!! He would not dare fire anyone right now.. And the threats are still continuing.
          It’s only been a few weeks and I know you’re all pulling your hair out wondering when this is going to come to a head.. it will soon. Don’t be discouraged.. It’s what he’s hoping for. Stand tall and stand together

    • DC on January 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm

      You people are complaining about not helping CT animals and not having enough resources for your animals and you have the gall to bring up Haiti! You truely have no clue what your fighting for.

    • Focus on January 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      Stay focused! The fact the no money has been donated to Haiti doesn’t mean anything. CHS doesn’t have a legal or even a moral obligation to donate anything to Haiti. The problem here is the mistreatment of animals in CHS care and of CHS workers. Don’t get sidetracked, because we need to be a cohesive group with the same vision.

      Remember, it is the Board of Directors that can effectuate change. Mr. Johnston is a smart guy, and the AG is unlikely to uncover anything…PUT THE PRESSURE ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS!!!

      • Gioia on January 23, 2010 at 6:57 pm

        Couldn’t agree with you more. With absolutely no disrespect toward or lack of sympathy for the Haitians’ plight (there have been the poor and the suffering always throughout the history of mankind), the focus here is the survival of the CHS.

        Unfortunately true as well, RJ is indeed very smart and very shrewd. Give the devil his due. He didn’t achieve the success he has and hasn’t stayed at the top of his twisted game by being stupid or weak. Make no mistake–he is a formidable opponent and can be a crushing adversary. All the more reason to band together and to not relent. This is the best chance ever to topple him, the board and his top generals. The board is who enables him, therefore the board should be carefully scrutinized as well. The generals are who support and act on his unholy mission; bring him down and you will automatically bring them down.

        The AG’s office is comprised of intelligent people, no doubt. But they will need proof. RJ is too smart to be leaving evidence and paper trails of any sort behind for anyone to scrutinize. That is why we appeal once again to those of you (past and present) who have any knowledge whatsoever of misconduct on his part to step forward with what you know. Contact the AG’s office and start talking. Those of you in the know are the best chance.

  24. Catty on January 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    This has nothing to do with the current situation; it’s just an opportunity to vent and show another side of the famous RJ. I hope that the AG doesn’t drop the ball on this one – good luck!
    When the closing of the Stamford facility was announced in the 90s, many individuals and small rescue groups were concerned that they would be left holding the bag…A meeting was arranged with RJ in Stamford, at which everyone expressed concern over the influx of animals with which they wouldn’t be able to cope. RJ claimed that keeping the facility open was not justified because of so few animals requiring shelter in this area. That’s pure bovine exccrement! I told him that I could fill his shelter with needy animal in one week, but instead, small groups with no physical shelters would have to pick up the slack – his arrogant and snide response was “That’s how it should be!”

    • Concerened on January 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm

      The ONLY reason he closed the Bethany shelter a few years back is because it wasn’t profitable and the same goes for all but 1 of the Petsmart adoption centers. Just a few more things to show that Richard is only in it for the money, he has showed us time and time again that he doesn’t care about the animals.

      • Concerened on January 22, 2010 at 7:59 pm

        Oh Yeah, he did SELL the property in Bethany, I wonder where that money went? I have an idea.

  25. George Gombossy on January 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I know that passions are running hot. PLEASE if you want to leave a comment, make it so that it sheds lights on what is happening or your point of view. I am NOT going to permit name-calling, personal attacks. This web site is to educate people about crucial issues. I have deleted several personal attacks and will ban people from my site if they attempt to continue to leave libelous comments. So please, use CtWatchdog to promote your views in a civil manner. Thank you. George

    • InTheKnow on January 22, 2010 at 9:58 pm

      George is right.. Don’t open yourself up to anything.. The Animals, the paid employes and the volunteers.. This is what it’s about.

  26. Concerened on January 23, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Why have there not been any comments from RBJ’s side? Silence is GUILT!

    • Concerned too on January 23, 2010 at 11:03 am

      Yes, why? I think it’s time to take the next step. Set up a meeting with the board so we can get some answers. Better yet let the invesitgation begin!

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