Canyon County

Caldwell animal shelter leaders resign; restructuring planned

The West Valley Humane Society shelter in Caldwell was built as a bond-funded county facility but is now leased to the nonprofit group, which has an independent board.
The West Valley Humane Society shelter in Caldwell was built as a bond-funded county facility but is now leased to the nonprofit group, which has an independent board.

The embattled West Valley Humane Society is restructuring its management after resignations from the Caldwell shelter's board president and interim executive director, according to a Monday news release from a new interim director.

Former board president Brenda Cameron confirmed that she resigned on Friday, issuing this statement Monday to the Statesman:

"It has been a privilege to work with such devoted staff, volunteers and the community for the past three years. I wish the shelter continued growth and success."

Former interim executive director Susan Woodward resigned on Saturday, according to the news release. Board member Linda Dripps is now serving in that position, and a reorganized board will later seek a new executive director, according to the news release

"With the assistance of professionals from the Idaho Humane Society, West Valley Humane Society will immediately begin to restructure shelter management," the news release stated. "The goals of providing best practices in shelter animal welfare and fulfilling all aspects of the organization’s mission statement are the focus of the changes."

Shelter management has drawn prolonged fire from a community group in recent months, and both Canyon County and the city of Nampa announced last month they expect to review the shelter's financial records and consider an audit. About 30 people attended the county budget hearing Aug. 31, alleging mismanagement and inhumane treatment, and asking commissioners to take action against the nonprofit shelter’s leadership. Most were members of Bunny Project, mobilized by the death of a dog named Bunny who was euthanized at the shelter in April despite her owner’s efforts to find and recover her.

Woodward said last month that humane society leadership is proud of its shelter and treatment of animals, and invited community members to check out the shelter for themselves.

On Monday, the shelter board invited anyone interested in helping with the transition is invited to join the volunteer team by visiting the shelter website, according to the news release.

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