The state Attorney General and former employees of the CT Humane Society allege the shelter seriously mishandled its multi-million dollar budget and deprived treatable animals of care, killing them to save money. Among those killed were cats with upper respiratory infections, heartworm positive dogs, and dogs with minor behavior issues such as separation anxiety. The details on the money sound downright scandalous:
He [A.G. Blumenthal] said that there were conflicts of interest in both “appearance and reality” in the society’s business dealings with board members, and that the society was spending too little money on animal care.
The report found that from 2005 to 2007, up to $258,000, or 5.2 percent of the society’s budget expenses, were spent on businesses connected to board members.
The investigation will continue into what Blumenthal called “serious and credible” allegations of misuse of society funds, including whether former President and Chairman Richard Johnston used society assets to support his unsuccessful campaign for the state Senate in the early 1990s.
The allegations first surfaced earlier this year when a group of current and former society employees formed the Coalition for Change.
The group claimed that Johnston, who led the organization for 24 years, had unchecked power over the venerable charity, one of the most prominent in the state.
Staffing cuts and policy decisions had diminished the society’s animal care, and Johnson was abusive to employees, some of whom he fired for trying to unionize, the Coalition for Change alleged.
This month, the President and Chairman of the Board resigned “to pursue other philanthropic pursuits after 24 years with the society” according to the article. (Heads up philanthropic pursuers!) The Board also voted to not have the same person serving as both President and Board Chair in future.
This quote from former employee Cathy DeMarco says it all:
“The public who relinquished their animals to the Humane Society in desperate times, very upset about relinquishing animals, think they’re giving the animal a chance, not knowing they were put down, sometimes within a day or two,” she said.
Imagine what you or I or anyone who cares about our communities’ pets could do with millions of dollars. And look what The CT Humane Society did instead. Shame.