Operation changes led to shelter leader's resignation
BATON ROUGE- The Companion Animal Alliance says new changes to operations at the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Shelter, which includes more euthanasia, is why the executive director quit Tuesday.
Christel Slaughter, chairwoman of the organization, says Laura Hinze turned in her resignation the day before she was set to defend new operations at the shelter to the Metro Council.
Hinze had been on the job since CAA took over the shelter two months ago in hopes of turning it into a no-kill facility. But in that time, her efforts to keep that no-kill goal have led to complaints of over-crowded cages, unsanitary conditions and a demand from the Metro Council to change or else.
Slaughter said, "I think the board realized they needed to get more involved and as they did we realized that to have the sustainable resources to run the shelter at the level that we wanted to, we're gonna have to take a little more time."
CAA says that time needs to be dedicated to raising money and increasing foster and adoption homes, which have increased in the past 60 days. In the meantime, the new shelter policies call for cleaner, less congested quarters and more vet care. It also says animals have to be put down, and more often.
CAA and Hinze didn't see eye to eye on that plan.
"When you have somebody who's trying to lead the charge and match visions and expectations that's a challenge," said Slaughter.
Council members calling for the changes say Hinze's leaving is unfortunate, but the recent activity at the shelter is in its best interest.
The organization believes that will eventually be clear and aren't giving up on the no-kill goal long-term.
Slaughter said, "It's a matter of taking deep breaths, slowing down, getting things to the quality level that we want."
An interim director is already in place and the search for a new director is underway. Hinze did not return calls for comment.
A report on the status of the shelter will be given to Metro Council Wednesday afternoon.