Marin Humane Society expels two board...

Marin Humane Society expels two board members amid controversy over executive director

There are 161 comments on the Marin Independent Journal story from Nov 11, 2010, titled Marin Humane Society expels two board members amid controversy over executive director. In it, Marin Independent Journal reports that:

The Marin Humane Society's board of directors voted at a special meeting last week to expel two of its 11 members after months of divisive debate over how to respond to staff complaints about the management style of the organization's executive director, Suzanne Golt.

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Since: Nov 10

Sunol, CA

#1 Nov 11, 2010
That's all I need to hear. Well, actually I would like them to actually look into these allegations, instead of firing the Board members who are listening; but their being fired makes it quack like a duck to me. If there was no merit to it, why such dissension?

The Humane Society is not going to get another dime from me until executive director, Suzanne Golt is replaced.

San Rafael, CA

#2 Nov 11, 2010
What's up ??7557

San Rafael, CA

#3 Nov 11, 2010
sounds like cats and dogs up there
if this keeps up pretty soon i may have to organize the kitties into a union


#4 Nov 11, 2010
This is what happens when autocratic dictators hungry for power and control take over organizations that are supposed to serve.
Upset in Marin

San Jose, CA

#5 Nov 11, 2010
Why would you possibly expel Board members that want to improve an organization? What's wrong with that Board? Sometimes the truth hurts.

San Anselmo, CA

#6 Nov 11, 2010
I like the article about the birds more than this. Let's talk about all the animals that they save every day; not this 'he said, she said'...

Goleta, CA

#7 Nov 11, 2010
We got our Henry, a wonderful Chihuahua mix, there 4 years ago.The staff is wonderful, as are all the volunteers who helped us. If something is rotten there, it is definitely at the top of the food chain. Who makes $160,000 working for a non-profit? Sounds like it's time to clean house, or rather "sift the litter" and get someone in who leads well and fosters harmony and trust.
Shocked in Marin

Los Gatos, CA

#8 Nov 11, 2010
It sounds like this was a personal thing. How can the Humane Society Board simply vote (without all the members present) to "expel" board members who disagree with the so-called "majority". If they can't question what the organization spends and why or how staff is treated,or if they have opinions about animal issues, then why have a board? It seems to me that if they (board members) all had a voice and could request documents to help them make decisions, then they would be able to get on with business. Maybe the practices of the Humane Society should be investigated so we people who donate would know what is going on.
Upset in Marin

San Jose, CA

#9 Nov 11, 2010
Hard working volunteer

Hayward, CA

#10 Nov 11, 2010
As a regular MHS volunteer who works hard nearly every day (alongside the dedicated staff) to help the animals, I think these 2 disgruntled board members have forgotten the true purpose of the Humane Society. Their petty bickering is only a distraction from our true mission - helping animals.

How is going to the press with this silliness, going to help any one? Most staff have never even had contact with a board member and these 2 were certainly not trying to "help the staff". If they were they would have focused on things that build up the shelter and staff, not tearing it down and turning the community against us.

Thanks for nothing Grace and Mary.
Oscar the Grouch

Novato, CA

#11 Nov 11, 2010
To begin with, the county's contracting with a private non-profit organization to provide LAW ENFORCEMENT peace officer services (the "puppy police") when that non-profit's contract is dependent, expressly or impliedly, on fines and prosecutions generated by that private organization is flat out WRONG and it always has been. The MHS, once a fine organization, has in recent years been taken over by a cabal that uses the power derived from the organization's police powers to further its own interests and political agenda. It's a sick bunch down there.(The article fails to mention the mysterious circumstances surrounding the ouster of the their last, and very short termed, executive director, recruited from the Humane Society of the United States, an affiliate of FBI identified domestic terrorist outfits like PETA and the Animal Liberation Front. Consider this latest dust-up the tip of the iceberg, folks.

I just love it when they start feeding on their own young!
A very angry volunteer

San Jose, CA

#12 Nov 11, 2010
This is what I just received from the ED and Board President. It doesn't sound to me like the ousted Board members were launching a negative campaign against the Marin Humane Society. Just trying to get things back on track.

Dear Marin Humane Society Volunteers:

On Tuesday, November 2nd, the Marin Humane Society Board of Directors, in accordance with our organizational bylaws, voted to terminate the board membership of two Directors. The majority of the 11-member Board came to the conclusion that after trying for several months to achieve effective communication, irreconcilable differences remained. The decision was not an easy one, but the Board felt that this was the only solution.

It is unfortunate that these former Board members have decided to launch a negative public campaign against Suzanne Golt, the Executive Director, and the organization. We want to assure you that these events in no way have affected the day-to-day operations of the Marin Humane Society. Our amazing staff and volunteers continue to focus on best serving the needs of the animals and people of our community. We are very proud of your unwavering dedication.

Thanks to your support, the Marin Humane Society can boast an impressive list of accomplishments under our current leadership.

Since Project Rebuild launched in 2009, dogs recuperating in our renovated veterinary clinic now have access to a more comfortable recovery area; our new Cat Adoption Center continues to send cats home in increased numbers; and the opening of our new Intake Center has enabled us to save the lives of hundreds of dogs and cats facing the threat of euthanasia at overcrowded shelters throughout California.

The past few years have been particularly remarkable for MHS as we continue to meet significant economic challenges with ever-increasing efficacy and efficiency. Our Foster Program is caring for a record number of our most vulnerable animals. More Marin children than ever are participating in humane education programs, summer camps, and volunteer opportunities. And our SHARE Program is expanding its capacity to provide pet-care assistance t more than 200 low-income seniors and people living with terminal illness.

MHS is also focused on renovating our 42-year-old adoption dog kennels so that we can provide more comfortable accommodations for homeless dogs – more than 1,000 every year – during their stay with us, and present a more welcoming environment for potential adopters. When this last phase of Project Rebuild is completed in 2011, MHS will be able to do even more for animals-in-need on a campus that has been thoughtfully and economically improved.

Two years ago, Suzanne Golt stepped into the role of Executive Director. During her tenure she has led the organization through a remarkable period of growth and success. Several months ago, Suzy decided that she would retire from MHS at the end of 2010. She will be dearly missed.

The MHS Board of Directors has begun a national search for a new Executive Director. We look forward to handing the reins over to a leader who will continue to inspire our amazing staff and volunteers – and you, our supporters.

It’s regrettable that we have to devote attention to anything that takes focus away from the hundreds of animals and people who rely on us daily. However, we felt that it was important for us to be transparent with our supporters. Moving forward, know that we are focused on what matters most to all of us: serving the animals and people of our community.


Polly Elkin, President

Board of Directors

Suzanne Golt

Executive Director

Care about the animals

Los Gatos, CA

#13 Nov 11, 2010
Why would the Board President decline to comment unless she was hiding something? I am glad you are reporting this!
168 Thousand a Year

Belvedere Tiburon, CA

#14 Nov 11, 2010
Is $168,000 enough rip-off of donations. Another example of non-profits begging for money just to line the pockets of administrators.

United States

#15 Nov 11, 2010
Sounds like a pit full of bullies to me.

I would love to see many organizations including MHS find a way to adapt a traditional business structure that focuses on supporting the purpose of the organization. Over the years, too many groups have suffered because of the unprofessional actions of those in power.

In this case, an organization devoted to animal welfare has no business behaving like characters on the latest reality show. It sounds like the two expelled board members were attempting to build an appropriate structure. Unfortunately, they were up against the human version of an alpha dog.

Since: Nov 10

Sunol, CA

#16 Nov 11, 2010
Well it is nice that they spent some of the money we all contributed to the new cat house. Don't get me wrong, I love the Humane Society, and I agree that the staff & volunteers are top-notch, but the Board & this Exec Director?...

$168,000 a year, to be on a County Humane Society Board of Directors. Are we in Bell? That is disgusting, and a bit insulting to the underpaid staff, unpaid volunteers, and of course contributors.
Cat Lady

San Jose, CA

#17 Nov 11, 2010
Non profit, baloney. They bring in animals from all over the state to sell at high prices in order support outrageous salaries and benefits.

Beware those who live off of children and animals.

The Cat Lady
Cat Lady

San Jose, CA

#18 Nov 11, 2010
Let's see the Executive Director's retirement Package. It's a non profit, after all.
Hard working volunteer

Hayward, CA

#19 Nov 11, 2010
Oscar - you make me laugh with your lack of knowledge and conspiracy theories. I suppose the MHS "cabal" also shot JFK and blew up the twin towers. Hate to tell you, but your ignorance is showing...

Too bad you don't care what happens to the animals in your community. No organization does it better. Believe me I know since I have seen the workings of Napa Humane, Benicia Humane, SF ACC and Contra Costa Animal Control just to name a few. None of these even begin to approach the level of MHS. When will the people of Marin recognize and appreciate what they have instead of always looking for ways to find fault? Very sad.

Those of us who know and understand will continue to do the fine work we always do. I feel sorry for you living your grumpy, sad life. We'll keep finding joy in helping animals who have no one else. Yes, we are such a sick bunch. Too bad for you...
Hard working volunteer

Hayward, CA

#20 Nov 11, 2010
Ooh good one, cat lady! You forgot to put the word "Crazy" in front of your name.

$150 for a spayed/neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, microchipped, health-checked, behavior evaluated animal. And that doesn't even count the ones that need extra medical attention. Exactly how does that qualify for high priced??! The shelter loses money on absolutely every animal that is adopted. They are only able to offer the low price due to donations and the kindness of the community.

You try getting an animal off the street, taking it to your vet and getting that all done. I guarantee it will cost you over $500. Does anyone on this blog have any actual knowledge? Yikes! I'm signing off before I lose my mind reading this drivel.

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