Humane Society needs to be more forthcoming | Editorial

It’s hard to know for sure what’s going on these days with the Kitsap Humane Society, because the entire board of directors seems to be lying low since the nonprofit’s executive director left suddenly and an online petition leveled accusations of mismanagement.

It’s not even clear who’s in charge right now, and that’sunacceptable at an organization that receives a big chunk of public funding to provide animal control services.

As a story in today’s paper reports, Kitsap Humane Society has contracts for hundreds of thousands of dollars with the county, Port Orchard and other cities.

And it’s money that seems to be at the root of the mismanagement alleged in the online petition, which apparently has collected more than 250 electronic signatures.

But the origin of this petition also is not as clear as it should be. There are no named sponsors or organizers, though it claims to represent donors to the Humane Society, its staff and volunteers, and taxpayers.

Who knows whether there’s any basis to the claims and demands in the petition, or if these folks are barking up the wrong tree.

But the public should know what’s going on at this organization, and if board members are cavalierly evading all inquiries from stakeholders, county officials and media, then they should be more forthcoming, and without any more stalling.

This is an instance where calling for transparency isn’t just a political cliché. The Humane Society needs to explain the circumstances of its executive director’s abrupt departure, and to address legitimate issues raised by the online petition.

The directors of this nonprofit agency that receives significant public funding can’t just hunker down in their dens to hibernate and avoid controversy, and they shouldn’t muzzle their own staff from discussing what’s going on.

It’s about doggone time for this situation to be explained.

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