Trouble in River City
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1998:
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– – T u t i
DeMaagd, chair of a Humane Society of Kent
County drive to raise $1.5 million toward the
estimated $2.5 million cost of a new shelter,
told Doug Guthrie of the Grand Rapids Press
on March 3 that she welcomes a forthcoming
probe of the campaign by the Michigan
Consumer Protection and Charitable Trust
Unit. DeMaagd began the campaign in mid1997
with $1 million already in the kitty.
Donors have since pledged $1.02 million, but
only $450,000 was actually received by midFebruary
Since DeMaagd began fundraising,
nine of the 18 HSKC board members have
resigned, often alleging irregularities, among
them attorney Ginny Makita, who specializes
in animal law, WZZM TV-13 news anchor
Catherine Behrendt, and assistant U.S. attorney
Edith Landman. Also resigning were
Humane Society Guild president Frank Ladd,
and board secretary Norma Brink.
Cruelty investigator Sharon Bayer
was fired in November 1997, against executive
director Ann Sullivan-Soet’s advice.
Board president James LaMancusa allegedly
then stripped Sullivan-Soet of all duties but
fundraising. Sullivan-Soet herself, a 21-year
employee, resigned in mid-February.
The accounting firm Kelton &
Kelton dropped the HSKC account in July
1997, complaining that financial reports had
been “recast” by treasurer John Vail, who proposed
changes in record-keeping that Kelton &
Kelton said would “obscure the very information
needed for informed decision-making.”
LaMancusa told Guthrie that HSKC
remains financially healthy. DeMaagd hinted
that she too might soon resign.
Trouble in K.C., too
KANSAS CITY, Mo.––Failing to
oust Humane Society of Greater Kansas City
president Susan Pepperdine in November 1997
despite mustering a membership vote of 94-5
against her at a special meeting, still less than
the necessary two-thirds of membership, an
opposition faction led by Glenda Burns
achieved a turnout of 170 for the February 23
annual meeting, and this time succeeded.
Pepperdine was under fire in part for
“the hiring of an $18,000 consultant to recruit
a new executive director with a $65,000
salary,” reported Kansas City Star staff writer
Matt Campbell. Both Pepperdine and Burns
have been involved in local animal protection
work for more than 20 years.