Animal shelter in turmoil

The past two weeks have left the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society bruised and battered after a one-two combination in the form of two administrators leaving the troubled shelter.

The blow came while the Menands-based organization is still licking its wounds from a 10-day closure in September when it was forced to euthanize hundreds of animals to halt the spread of distemper and parvo.

However, staff and volunteers are hopeful that the shelter will get back on course as a team of interim administrators comes in and holds the organization steady as directors look to replacements.

Last weekend, the shelter spread the word that after seven months as executive director, Amy Friedman of Slingerlands relinquished her post. Days later, the shelter was put in the hands of medical director Dr. Laurie Coger until a replacement for Friedman could be found. On Monday, Nov. 20, Coger submitted her resignation to the society's board of directors citing personal reasons.

Society employees could not say what led to Friedman's departure, whether it was voluntary or she was asked to leave, only that by the end of a recent board of directors meeting, Friedman was no longer with the shelter, said Catherine Blanch, director of development for the shelter.

We are saddened by the loss of some talented staff, but we are looking forward to a positive future, said Blanch. "The board is now working with shelter management to keep us going."

Friedman was ambiguous with her reason for no longer being at the shelter, and only stated that there was "a bit of politics going on," and nothing more, she said.

"The reason I am gone has nothing to do with the September decision," said Friedman.

The shelter has recruited Warren Cox as interim executive director until the position can be filled permanently. Cox is the former executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Dallas, Texas.

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