BY MICHAEL RICONDA
Though the exact reason for the resignation was not elaborated upon, an anonymous source suggested he did so to avoid termination for claiming another Hi-Tor member, Anna Mae Allison, was qualified as a veterinary technician, though she had no credentials. According to former Hi-Tor employee Wendy Himes, Allison fulfilled the role of a veterinary tech for months without problem by medicating, vaccinating and euthanizing animals before she was forced to leave her post.
Though Himes explained she did not see the conversation which led to the resignation, she alleged the departures might have been a product of intimidation.
“From what I’m being told, they were being harassed by board members and other employees,” Himes explained.
Current Board President Roberta Bangs explained she could not comment on the specifics of the departures, but confirmed the operations manager and a medical staffer were no longer working with Hi-Tor.
Internal division has riled Hi-Tor for some time, with volunteers accusing the board of directors of bullying volunteers, showing little regard for shelter operations and mismanaging finances. Such allegations led to a rift between volunteers and the board, culminating in the Board’s decision to close their meetings to the public and what Hinds calls a “mass exodus” of volunteers from the shelter.
Hi-Tor is in a critical state due to both budget constraints and a strong need to modernize its infrastructure. The shelter had a $620,000 budget through October 2012 and relies heavily on charitable donations and dwindling support from the county and municipalities.
Additionally, the Board declined to renew former executive director Vivian Kiggins’ contract due to budgetary constraints in December 2012. Though the move was characterized as financial, Hinds explained there was a belief among detractors that the cut was a cover to remove Kiggins.