Employee gripe at Waco Humane Society; hoping to move forward
BY Danielle Skinner
WACO- Turmoil at the Humane Society of Central Texas results in the firing of the executive director.
It started with a derogatory e-mail that went public from a shelter volunteer.
Executive Director Gina Ford barred the volunteer, but the quarrel resulted in Ford's firing yesterday by the executive board.
Even though Ford was terminated, the dispute will not affect the city's relationship with the shelter.
Ford says she sent this email because the volunteer, Gail Forrest, was posting negative comments about the shelter on social media. In the email Ford prohibits Forrest from volunteering with the shelter ever again. Forrest then put the email on facebook for the public's viewing--which caused Ford to lose her job.
Ford says the stress of operating a shelter under a strict budget has caused not only her, but other employees, to reach a boiling point.
"The shelter is under-funded, the shelter is under-staffed and mistakes do happen," Ford explained. "I have to defend my staff. I am not going to allow people to negatively comment on a group of individuals that have the toughest job."
Ford says she still plans on working with animals. She hopes the shelter will be led in the right direction by the next director. Forrest wishes the same.
"If we are going to have the dogs be the bottom line I really don't want people to stop donating," Forrest said. "The city isn't allowing the shelter to have enough money. We are way behind other cities."
Waco city officials say it was the executive board's decision to let Ford go. That board will also pick her successor.
A spokesman at city hall told me the city will continue its financial support of the shelter.
Some animal shelter supporters began a petition that is asking the city of Waco for a completely new shelter.
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