Rancor puts new Healdsburg animal shelter at risk

  • Douglas Keane has remained a constant presence in Cash's life by continuing his involvement with the dog's obedience training and socialization at Kings Kastle, in Windsor.

A high-profile controversy over a dog's suitability for adoption, coupled with turmoil on the Healdsburg Animal Shelter's board of directors, has caused donors to balk, further jeopardizing completion of a $3.5 million shelter.

Dissension among shelter directors, highlighted by their numerous resignations, has caused donors to question funding the new state-of-the-art shelter, which needs $250,000<NO1><NO><NO1><NO> before it can be occupied.

"I'm not confident with the direction of the shelter now," said Carol Noack, a longtime volunteer who said she is poised to re-write her legacy trust to remove the Healdsburg Animal Shelter and make another non-profit animal welfare group the beneficiary of her estate.

"People who have given in the past to the shelter are now holding off," said Madeline Wallace, a former shelter director who previously helped with fund-raising.

"There's a feeling the state of the shelter is somewhat in chaos and the leadership of the board is dysfunctional," she said.

While members of the Healdsburg City Council have questioned the actions of shelter officials and the transparency of the non-profit agency's finances, police officials say they are satisfied with the organization when it comes to providing animal control services.

The shelter is at the mid-point of a three-year, $115,580 annual contract with the city. It takes in strays and injured animals, responds to complaints of barking or dangerous dogs and animal cruelty, and removes dead animals.

"At this point they are fulfilling their contract obligations," said Police Lt. Kevin Young, who is the liaison between the city and the shelter.

He said the shelter does a good job balancing enforcement, education and care for animals.

"The internal workings of the shelter and the board and the rest of that, are not on our radar. It's not related to our contract," Young said.

© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View