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Questions loom as Ontario County Humane Society director resigns

The Ontario County Humane Society and its Happy Tails Animal Shelter are looking for a new director after the recent resignation of Bill McGuigan.

Laura Pugliese, the society’s office manager/rabies coordinator, confirmed Friday that McGuigan and Linda Albanese — shelter manager — resigned. There are ads for the positions on the society’s website.

McGuigan did not reply to e-mails seeking comment. Pugliese referred a request for comment to the society’s board of directors.

In an e-mail sent to the Times, Kurt Koczent — a society board member — said the board is actively taking applicants for the positions.

“As a matter of formality, we do not comment on personnel matters,” Koczent said.

Earlier this month, board President Linda Vaughn and another board member — Rob Koczent — spoke to the Times following criticism of the Humane Society by members of Geneva City Council.

Also present during that interview were Ontario County Administrator Mary Krause, Deputy Administrator Brian Young and Manchester Supervisor Jeff Gallahan, who chairs the Ontario County Board of Supervisors’ Government Operations and Insurance Committee.

That committee oversees the Humane Society. While the Humane Society is a nonprofit organization, the county contracts with the society for dog control services and rabies clinics in the county.

In a Dec. 14 letter to Krause and Gallahan, the city of Geneva cited numerous concerns with the Humane Society, including available shelter space, the cost of the shelter’s spay/neuter/vaccination program, number of volunteers, adoption turnaround, the board of directors, timely investigation into animal hoarding cases, and public education.

Rob Koczent refuted those concerns during the interview and said the city would be issuing a letter of retraction to the county. City officials said the Council gave city Manager Sage Gerling authority to write such a letter, but it has not been issued yet.

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