Humane Society director in Gadsden fired abruptly

Fundraiser for Etowah County Humane Society

ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Less than two hours after WBRC came to an animal shelter in Etowah County to do a story about a fundraiser, we were informed the shelter's director had been terminated from her job.

Angela Parker had been employed since March at the Humane Society Pet Rescue and Adoption Center in Gadsden.

WBRC went to the shelter Monday morning to do a story about an upcoming fundraiser and to get video for some upcoming stories as well. Less than two hours later, Parker told us she had been let go from the shelter. She said it was because “I care too much about the animals,” but assured us our coverage was not related.

We have reached out to board chairman Bentley Johnston for comment. We received the following statement from the full board late Monday night:

“The Board of Directors of the Humane Society Pet Rescue and Adoption Center, Gadsden AL today announced the departure of Executive Director, Angela Parker. Parker was hired March 11, 2019 and her last day of employment was June 3.

Board President, Bentley Johnston released this on behalf of HSPRAC. He states daily operations will continue in the interim with an experienced shelter staff in place. Marketing Director Jessica Millican, and the Board of Directors will be available to support as needed until a new director is appointed. The animal rescue and adoption center is actively pursuing the most qualified person to fill the role and will continue to focus on the mission of HSPRAC.

Rather than focusing on the past and explaining a private employment matter in a public forum; Johnston says those passionate about this cause can best demonstrate their concern for the animals’ welfare by helping in ways that directly affect the animals in the care of the shelter. Millican adds that the largest fundraising event of the year is coming up in June, and the focus must be forward facing. The costs of operating the shelter for the next year largely depend upon the success of this event and other fundraising activities. There is no time for distractions. ‘You can’t make progress by looking behind you. We learn from the past, but look forward to the future. The animals depend on us for that.’

Please feel free to stop by the shelter on 4200 Brooke Avenue and volunteer your time, apply to be a foster home for an animal, or even adopt one of the many dogs and cats waiting for a second chance. The shelter is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.It is closed Wednesday and Sunday for maintenance, cleaning, and days of rest for the animals. Visit us online at www.hsprac.com or on Facebook.”

The shelter has plans to locate a surgical center in their current clinical room, and proceeds from an upcoming fundraiser were apparently to help offset those costs.

The fundraiser is set for June 28 at the Venue in Gadsden. It includes a concert by the 1960s rock group the Swinging Medallions and a catered dinner.

The idea is for a vet to be able to perform spaying and neutering in house, as opposed to animals being shipped to vet clinics for the procedures.

“We’ve got to get more equipment, and a few other things. We really wanted it up and going this year. So it’s going to take a great deal of money and equipment to help us do that. So, our proceeds from the Swinging Medallions will hopefully go into our surgery suite,” marketing director Jessica Millican said.

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