The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Letters to the Editor

February 14, 2014

Humane Society moves ahead

As the residents in Danville might be aware, the four-year battle to reform the Danville Humane Society recently reached a critical point, when nine of the 11 board members resigned, and it was discovered that the director of the Humane Society had been euthanizing animals without proper license.

The result was the immediate suspension and subsequent dismissal of the director, and a reorganization of the board with the remaining members and a temporary appointee.

The battle for reform has been waged by an incredibly dedicated, caring and persistent group of citizens from Danville and the surrounding area — all are exceptionally strong animal advocates. Were it not for their dogged pursuit of better conditions in the facility, as well as more accountability and transparency, the same dreadful situation that existed would still be in place.

Numerous reforms have already been made, and many more are being coordinated at this very moment. For instance, rescue organizations are being contacted, and a coordinated effort is being made to get as many animals as possible into a loving home or other location where adoption would be more likely. That is a tangible change in the operational philosophy of the Humane Society. Previously, when faced with overpopulation, animals were simply euthanized to create more space. Sadly, no internal effort was made to actively find the animals a home.

The new board members personally find that practice to be morally indefensible, and will not allow the society to do that again.

The new Danville Humane Society Board of Directors is working closely with advisers from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the University of Illinois’ Shelter Medicine program to modernize the Humane Society’s shelter’s operations and practices. These individuals are true experts, and the collaborations are invaluable sources of insight, advice, logistical help and moral support.

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