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Several humane society board members resign

All but two members of the Chilton County Humane Society Board of Directors have resigned, including former Board president Tina Thomas.

The self-appointed board also has new leadership and has increased its membership from six to seven members in order to ease the voting process.

The change culminated shortly after the Chilton County Commission and local municipalities requested a thorough audit of the organization.

“It was just time for new people to come on board with fresh ideas to make it better,” Thomas said in a phone interview. “These people were interested in being on the board, and they were excited.”

Thomas, who has worked with the shelter for more than 25 years, said she plans to continue her involvement on a volunteer basis.

Other board members who resigned included treasurer Dorothy Thomas, Paula Thompson and Jill Brewer.

The newly elected board comprises president Colleen Kennedy, vice president Tom Cuthburt, secretary Naomi Absher, treasurer Peggy Jones, Glenda Tuell, Angie Christensen and Gina Below. All are new members except Jones and Tuell.

Kennedy, also the president of animal rescue group Chilton Animal Rescue, was contacted by Thomas about accepting the position. She hinted at the possibility of merging the rescue organization with the humane society.

“They’re still going to be active. They are still going to be rescuing animals from the humane society,” she said.

The board plans to meet monthly and allow Director Paula Jo Mattingly to have direct involvement. Mattingly will have a monthly budget to go by, which she did not have access to before.

“Our main plan is to get Paula involved in board meetings,” Kennedy said.

A certified public accountant is reportedly auditing the organization’s 2008 budget, which will be presented to the county commission and city councils. Some form of a budget was presented to the commission, but the commission found it insufficient and requested to see the full budget.

A state auditor also reportedly found the humane society was not paying employee taxes in order to allow former employees to file for unemployment compensation. This issue appears to be resolved, according to Mattingly.

Meanwhile, the board and Mattingly plan to get the community involved in many future events and fundraisers. These include a car show and “ugly truck” contest April 4 at The Pumpkin Patch on Highway 145. Fifty-fifty tickets will be $1 apiece, and half the pot will go toward the humane society. The other half will be paid out to the name drawn.

Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under. Registration for cars is $25 and for trucks is $15. Mattingly said tickets will be available on the day of the event.

The shelter also has a Web link to a slideshow of adoptable animals. The link is available at homepage.mac.com/skipbaumhower/dontforgetus/.

Much renovation is going on at the shelter.

“The new changes are going to be wonderful,” Mattingly said. “In a little amount of time, we’ve done a lot.”

Kennedy said a primary goal of the board is to improve the statewide reputation of the humane society.

“We really want to have the Chilton County Humane Society recognized as one of the better humane societies in the state,” she said. “We’re all very passionate. We all really want to help animals.”