Susan Canterbury has been fired as director of the Spokane Humane Society, just five months after she had moved 3,000 miles to take the job.
The society’s board of directors terminated Canterbury on Monday.
Board members refused to say why Thursday.
“It’s a personnel issue, so it’s confidential and I can’t talk about the issues surrounding it,” said Kim West, a board member who has been appointed interim director.
Efforts to reach Canterbury for comment were unsuccessful.
She moved her mother, two children, three dogs, two cats and a guinea pig to Spokane from Myrtle Beach, S.C., in July so she could take the job.
Canterbury was the society’s eighth director in the past decade. She replaced Paul Bosarge, who resigned in March 1996.
In taking the job, Canterbury said she would make spaying and neutering programs her top priority and would work to establish a veterinary clinic at the society’s shelter on North Havana.
But cash problems quickly came to the forefront.
In September, Canterbury announced the shelter no longer would take in strays picked up by animal control officers hired by the city of Spokane.
The nonprofit organization was losing $11,000 per month under its contract with the city and couldn’t afford to renew it, she said.
Humane Society President Sally Rux declined to discuss the high turnover rate of directors.
“I can’t comment on that,” said Rux, an 11-year member of the board.
Personnel problems are not affecting the day-to-day operation of the shelter, she said.
Interim director West said the Humane Society still accepts stray dogs and cats picked up by good Samaritans or dropped off by their owners. Adoptions are continuing as usual.
“Please, please help us tell people that the animals are not being jeopardized,” she said.
“We’re trying to go forward.”
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