Letter: Concerned by changes at humane society
I am very concerned about the changes that have been made at the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society in the few weeks the newly hired executive director has been employed. The administrative staff office desks are all empty except for the executive director’s as the administrative assistant, the humane director/volunteer coordinator and the bookkeeper have either chosen to leave or been fired. I am unsure of the circumstances bringing each individual’s departure. Yesterday I was told by a volunteer that Beth Hogge was no longer shelter manager.
As former GMHS Foster Coordinator and a longtime volunteer, I know these former employees played major roles in keeping GMHS running and the animals safe and healthy for many, many years. These loyal and honest employees took on the extra tasks with no added pay for the past six months when the office of executive director was empty. These same employees kept the old shelter on Rangtang Road together when it was falling down around them. These loyal employees adapted and faced the challenge of transitioning the animals and staff to the new facility.
When the former executive director left there was a sense of excitement in the air with hopes the new executive director would bring new energy filled with positive ideas to draw the team of current staff together. As a volunteer, I had the same hopes of seeing a positive team leader with fresh ideas work with the experienced staff and take GMHS in a forward direction. Instead, the few times I have been by the shelter this past week, I have seen empty offices and sullen faces of staff that remains.
It is my understanding the GMHS board of directors is aware of the drastic staff changes being made and is supportive of the new executive director’s actions, even though she has no animal shelter experience. I sincerely hope all the directors are learning what it takes to keep an animal shelter in operation and are willing to take over some roles left unattended until suitable replacement staff can be found for the meager pay scale in place. I pray GMHS does not lose the generous veterinarian who acts as staff vet per state requirements. If GMHS has no veterinarian contracted to work with them, I am not sure the shelter can remain open.
I hope all the directors understand by supporting these drastic staff changes made by the new executive director, they have not only let experienced and loyal employees go but they have also let down their friends, volunteers and many longtime supporters of the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society. Whatever plan for GMHS the board of directors may have, please inform your supporters and volunteers. Is it worth throwing long-term, loyal and experienced staff "under the bus?"