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Some things seem to never change at Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society

I was saddened to recently read of the staff losses at the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society. Our poor, abandoned and unwanted animals cannot seem to catch a break. I applaud the Oxford EAGLE for asking for transparency from the OLHS Board.

However, given how long the OLHS has been under a dictatorship, I suspect our city leadership to once again ignore the current controversies and do nothing. At least I can speak with first-hand knowledge, albeit from several years ago. Having been hired as the Executive Director of the OLHS in 2005, I was made aware of how all decisions were made by one person and the Board was only there to back that person. Woe be it to rock that boat. The persons who recruited me to apply were trying to find someone to speak up more for the animals, and to find viable alternatives to euthanasia.

But my stint, as director, lasted a grand total of five days. I resigned because, (No.1), I was told I could not intervene in the stringent adoption policy, that favored euthanasia over a more relaxed policy, (No.2), I was told I could not pursue sending our surplus animals to no-kill shelters and/or to those communities up north that wanted them., and (No.3), I was denied to personally foster an older Siamese cat that had a disease, (but was perfectly fine at the time), and was set to be put down. I was later told that I was not a good “fit” for the position. I assume the preferred candidate needed to prefer euthanasia over finding more adoptive and foster homes.

I had to walk away and I have tried to remove myself from getting back involved. But when I see things are clearly being done the same way and all the power apparently still rests with that one person, I wonder how much longer our community is fine with that. Trust me, I know not everyone wants to be bothered by the plight of these animals but should we not at least want the best for them, with decisions being made by a group not so easily influenced by one person?

Rusty Cooper

Oxford