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Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society needs to be more transparent

Non-profit organizations are not immune to the types of challenges that face the more traditional workplace.

Personality conflicts can emerge and volunteers who mean well can lose their way and focus.

It’s a shame that our Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society has been facing that challenge their year, creating considerable turmoil and conflict in a place that is merely designed and intended to “improve the plight of lost, unwanted, abandoned, and homeless animals…”

This past week we learned that multiple employees quit working at the OLHS, including the director and animal control officer.

Months ago, a public story emerged about a flap between some board members and President of the OLHS board Cyd Dunlap over how a $600,000 donation should have been allocated. After that flap, some members of the board changed and considerable behind-the-scenes chatter has continued since.

Dunlap, who undoubtedly loves animals and is committed to the cause, should be the OLHS primary spokesperson, but doesn’t want to talk about it.

The OLHS takes more than $100,000 annually in funds from the city to provide services including an animal control officer, however, so the agency has some responsibility to speak up and out publicly about both its successes and its challenges.

We support the work that caring volunteers and paid employees of the OLHS do, especially when they put service above self. But, we believe agencies that take considerable public funds in this community are accountable to transparency.

We hope for better communication from the OLHS board with the public and its employees in the future.