A fresh start for Rock County Humane Society
Angela Rhodes took over as Rock County Humane Society executive director in March 2009, and the Gazette Editorial Board met with her a few months later. Her diverse experience was impressive. She seemed smart and likeable.
Rhodes enacted changes at the shelter, and many seemed reasonable and helped ensure that revenues matched expenses. She created an “adoption guarantee” for all manageable, treatable dogs. Her goal was to do likewise with cats. The shelter no longer accepts “owned animals”—for example, those confiscated in drug raids that would require quarantines and veterinary care that the shelter doesn’t have. This year, the cities of Janesville and Beloit turned to contracting with the Dane County Humane Society to take seized animals and seriously ill strays.
Critics were vocal about some new policies and procedures. Some of this could be attributed to resistance to change. Through the years, however, complaints about Rhodes, particularly in her public relations skills, grew louder. She became a lightning rod for criticism.
Now, she is out.
At a press conference Monday, board member Leslie Hulick said the board would make a priority of changing the private, nonprofit shelter’s name so people no longer falsely believe it’s a governmental agency that gets tax dollars. She also said the board would reassess all aspects of the operation.
What direction do you believe the board should go? What should it be looking for in a new leader?
We'll share our perspectives in our editorial Sunday.