Accusations Exchanged Between Former Manager of Humane Shelter a - KOAM TV 7

Accusations Exchanged Between Former Manager of Humane Shelter and Shelter's Board of Directors


Accusations are exchanged between the former manager of a humane shelter and that shelter's board of directors.  Current workers at the Southeast Kansas Humane Society say they want to dispel allegations of living and working conditions at the shelter.  But the former manager of the shelter issued a statement today that reaffirms those allegations.

The interim manager of the SEK Humane Society plans business as usual.

Shamber Hubbard says, "The animals are well cared for, they're happy.  What improvements can we make upon that?"

But Kelci Cooper, the now former manager of the humane society, said in a statement that she was leaving her position because of an unsafe workplace with unsafe work practices, unpaid time worked, poor or lack of communication with management, and a hostile work environment.

Hubbard has been working at the SEK Humane Society for the past two years.

"Any place you go, you're going to have coworkers who are upset about something or another," says Hubbard.  "It happens every where you go.  As long as you're here and doing what you're supposed to do and getting the job done, then everything should be running smoothly.  And I think it runs pretty smoothly out here."

Mary Kay Caldwell, president of the SEK Humane Society's Board of Directors, says things also run safely, and every other accusation from Cooper is untrue.

"We have periodic state inspections, and we encourage people to come out and visit the shelter," says Mary Kay Caldwell.

Caldwell says Cooper left because she was asked to resign by all 12 members of the board.  The board of directors accuse Cooper of being financially irresponsible and insubordinate.  

Cooper has since sent us a statement that reads in part, "It is no secret to our community that SEK Humane Society has had ongoing issues...  It is disheartening to hear such strong untrue allegations...  I can only hope for much needed change to come for the future of the animals and staff."

Cooper says there is no litigation involved with this matter.

Click here to view the SEK Humane Society's full statement.  Cooper's statement to us today can be found below.

“It is no secret to our community that SEK Humane Society has had ongoing issues. The turn over of not just staff, but board members over the years speaks volumes about the way the organization is led. The amount of support I received from friends, community, and total strangers, to make SEK Humane Society a better place is greatly appreciated. It is with deep regret that I couldn’t be the change needed, although it was not without extreme effort. I have worked hard in my professional and personal life to be a part of making our community better, and I believe you’ve seen a reflection of that in many things, including SEK Humane Society over the last two years of my employment. It is disheartening to hear such strong, untrue allegations, although I know my community stands behind me and we will be wishing the SEK Humane Society the best at this time. It must be incredibly difficult for an organization to lose its entire staff, the majority of its board, and its director, within months of each other, especially when they seemed to finally be in the public eye. I can only hope for much needed change to come for the future of the animals and staff.”


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